BETA


2020/2131(INI) A new strategy for European SMEs

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead ITRE BORCHIA Paolo (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group) GIESEKE Jens (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group), CUTAJAR Josianne (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group), DLABAJOVÁ Martina (icon: Renew Renew), HAHN Henrike (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group), ROOS Robert (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group), PEREIRA Sandra (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group)
Committee Opinion INTA BOURGEOIS Geert (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group) Yannick JADOT (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Seán KELLY (icon: PPE PPE), Emmanuel MAUREL (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Urmas PAET (icon: RE RE), Maximilian KRAH (icon: ID ID)
Committee Opinion ECON
Committee Opinion EMPL ALIEVA-VELI Atidzhe (icon: Renew Renew) Anne SANDER (icon: PPE PPE), Leila CHAIBI (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Beata SZYDŁO (icon: ECR ECR), Stefania ZAMBELLI (icon: ID ID), Estrella DURÁ FERRANDIS (icon: S&D S&D)
Committee Opinion IMCO SCHREINEMACHER Liesje (icon: Renew Renew) Brando BENIFEI (icon: S&D S&D), Kateřina KONEČNÁ (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Ivan ŠTEFANEC (icon: PPE PPE), Kosma ZŁOTOWSKI (icon: ECR ECR), Marcel KOLAJA (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Isabella TOVAGLIERI (icon: ID ID)
Committee Opinion TRAN FERREIRA João (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group) Karima DELLI (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Ilhan KYUCHYUK (icon: RE RE), Peter LUNDGREN (icon: ECR ECR), Lucia VUOLO (icon: ID ID), Tomasz FRANKOWSKI (icon: PPE PPE), Andris AMERIKS (icon: S&D S&D)
Committee Opinion AGRI PICIERNO Pina (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group) Mara BIZZOTTO (icon: ID ID), Irène TOLLERET (icon: RE RE), Veronika VRECIONOVÁ (icon: ECR ECR), Riho TERRAS (icon: PPE PPE), Claude GRUFFAT (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE)
Committee Opinion CULT NEGRESCU Victor (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group) Morten LØKKEGAARD (icon: RE RE), Željana ZOVKO (icon: PPE PPE), Niyazi KIZILYÜREK (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Niklas NIENASS (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Elżbieta KRUK (icon: ECR ECR)
Committee Opinion JURI LEBRETON Gilles (icon: Unknown Group Unknown Group)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2020/12/16
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 533 votes to 58, with 82 abstentions, a resolution on a new strategy for European SMEs.

The 24 million SMEs in the EU-27 are the backbone of the economy and, before the pandemic, they generated more than half of the EU’s GDP while employing about 100 million workers. 98.9 % of enterprises in the EU’s non-financial business economy are small enterprises with fewer than 49 workers. However, the economic crisis and the grim economic outlook triggered by the pandemic have brought a considerable and indeterminate number of SMEs and start-ups to the verge of insolvency.

According to Members, SMEs should be at the centre of the European Green Deal and digital strategy, and be properly supported by tailored financial instruments and an SME-friendly legislative environment in order be enabled to play an important role in the growth of the European economy.

Structural challenges prior to the COVID-19 crisis

Parliament stressed the need for the SME strategy to be updated in the light of the COVID-19 crisis while keeping the focus on advancing the transition toward a socially, economically and environmentally resilient society and a competitive economy.

The resolution called for further measures to improve the business environment, such as:

- the adoption of an SME action plan with clear objectives, milestones and timeline, accompanied by regular monitoring, reporting and evaluations;

- measures to promote a more favourable environment for business creation and to strengthen entrepreneurship;

- the setting of ambitious and binding quantitative and qualitative EU-wide targets for the reduction of administrative burdens by June 2021 at the latest;

- improved regulatory alignment to be accompanied by smart digitalisation, increased user-friendliness, more streamlined procedures and more secure and private data procedures;

- more targeted national and EU-level technical and administrative assistance, exchange of best practice and training opportunities for SMEs;

- a binding test that is able to assess, with regard to SMEs, the costs and benefits of legislative proposals, including their economic impact and their impact on SME employees;

- a revived implementation of the small business act (SBA);

- support to a dedicated EU SME envoy to bring more visibility to SMEs’ concerns;

- customised EU funding to attract more participation from non-digital, high-tech and innovative SMEs;

- full and fair access to bank loans for SMEs;

New challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic

Parliament urged Member States and the Commission to address the problem of late payments, which continue to create significant liquidity challenges for SMEs and strengthen monitoring and enforcement of the Late Payment Directive.

Deeply concerned by the fact that sectors such as tourism, hospitality, culture, the creative industries, transport, trade fairs and events, which are largely composed of SMEs, have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, Members stressed the importance of continuous, swift measures aimed at restoring and retaining trust among travellers and operators.

They also regretted that only 17 % of SMEs have so far successfully integrated digital technology into their businesses. They called for the action aimed at tackling skills mismatches and shortages to be strengthened and at equipping SMEs with digital literacy and skills, as well as improving skills in relation to public procurement and financial education, in addition to credit and supply chain management skills for rapidly changing labour markets, also in the light of the acceleration induced by the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition, Members called for increasing the proportion of graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and closing the gap that women face in these fields.

Recovery strategy

While regretting that the recovery strategy gives little support to SMEs, Parliament insisted that a substantial part of the resources of the Horizon Europe programme should be made available to SMEs. It called on the Commission and Member States to:

- invest in the data economy, artificial intelligence, smart production, the Internet of Things and quantum computing and ensure a strong SME component in these fields;

- adopt a favourable regulatory framework and technical and financial support mechanisms, including through private investment, so as to enable SMEs to adopt environmentally friendly practices, products, processes and services effectively and rapidly;

- prioritise the announced intellectual property action plan to strengthen the capacity of European enterprises, especially SMEs, to innovate.

Parliament called on the Commission to put in place a level playing field and a regulatory environment in which SMEs can compete globally, as well as tools such as a single digital entry point to easily identify opportunities for SMEs in international trade agreements.

Documents
2020/12/14
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2020/12/02
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Details

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy adopted the own-initiative report by Paolo BORCHIA (IDG, IT) on a new strategy for European SMEs.

The 24 million SMEs in the EU-27 are the backbone of the economy and, before the pandemic, they generated more than half of the EU’s GDP while employing about 100 million workers. 98.9 % of enterprises in the EU’s non-financial business economy are small enterprises with fewer than 49 workers. However, the economic crisis and the grim economic outlook triggered by the pandemic have brought a considerable and indeterminate number of SMEs and start-ups to the verge of insolvency.

Structural challenges prior to the COVID-19 crisis

Although Members welcomed the Commission’s SME strategy published in March 2020, they stressed the need for it to be updated in the light of the COVID-19 crisis while keeping the focus on advancing the transition toward a socially, economically and environmentally resilient society and a competitive economy. The SME strategy should be aligned with the industrial strategy, the European data strategy and the European Green Deal.

The report called for further measures to improve the business environment, such as:

- the adoption of an SME action plan with clear objectives, milestones and timeline, accompanied by regular monitoring, reporting and evaluations;

- ambitious and binding quantitative and qualitative targets at EU level for the reduction of administrative burdens to be set as soon as possible after conducting an impact assessment and in any case no later than June 2021, and in advance of the Commission communication;

- improved regulatory alignment to be accompanied by smart digitalisation, increased user-friendliness, more streamlined procedures and more secure and private data procedures;

- more targeted national and EU-level technical and administrative assistance, exchange of best practice and training opportunities for SMEs;

- the creation of a single digital entry point for all enquiries on EU financing opportunities for SMEs and ensure that EU support schemes, including those addressing the COVID-19 aftermath, contain a strong SME component;

- a revived implementation of the small business act (SBA);

- support to a dedicated EU SME envoy to bring more visibility to SMEs’ concerns;

- customised EU funding to attract more participation from non-digital, high-tech and innovative SMEs;

- full and fair access to bank loans for SMEs;

New challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic

Recalling that liquidity must be swiftly provided to SMEs, the committee urged Member States and the Commission to address the problem of late payments, which continue to create significant liquidity challenges for SMEs. It urged Member States that still have not done so to implement the Late Payment Directive, in particular regarding public administrations and to business-to-business relations.

Members recognised the need for a temporary relaxation of State aid rules and an acknowledgement that they have led to the uneven implementation of measures across the EU. The Commission and the Council are called on to take swift action to ensure a competitive level playing field among Member States.

Members expressed deep concern that sectors such as tourism, hospitality, culture, the creative industries, transport, trade fairs and events, which are largely composed of SMEs, have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. They stressed the importance of continuous, swift measures aimed at restoring and retaining trust among travellers and operators.

They also regretted that only 17 % of SMEs have so far successfully integrated digital technology into their businesses. They called for the action aimed at tackling skills mismatches and shortages to be strengthened and at equipping SMEs with digital literacy and skills, as well as improving skills in relation to public procurement and financial education, in addition to credit and supply chain management skills for rapidly changing labour markets, also in the light of the acceleration induced by the COVID-19 crisis.

Lastly, Members called for the adoption of a parallel and stronger policy to improve internet infrastructure and connectivity conditions to the benefit of SMEs in remote areas, as a basic condition to improve digitalisation and embrace an effective transformation.

Documents
2020/11/12
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2020/10/20
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2020/10/07
   EP - Specific opinion
Documents
2020/10/06
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2020/10/05
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2020/09/30
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2020/09/30
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2020/09/24
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2020/09/17
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2020/09/07
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2020/09/02
   EP - LEBRETON Gilles (Unknown Group) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2020/06/25
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2020/06/04
   EP - ALIEVA-VELI Atidzhe (Renew) appointed as rapporteur in EMPL
2020/05/28
   EP - FERREIRA João (Unknown Group) appointed as rapporteur in TRAN
2020/05/27
   EP - PICIERNO Pina (Unknown Group) appointed as rapporteur in AGRI
2020/05/19
   EP - BOURGEOIS Geert (Unknown Group) appointed as rapporteur in INTA
2020/04/16
   EP - BORCHIA Paolo (Unknown Group) appointed as rapporteur in ITRE
2020/04/07
   EP - NEGRESCU Victor (Unknown Group) appointed as rapporteur in CULT
2020/04/01
   EP - SCHREINEMACHER Liesje (Renew) appointed as rapporteur in IMCO

Documents

Activities

Votes

A9-0237/2020 - Paolo Borchia - Résolution

2020/12/16 Outcome: +: 533, 0: 82, -: 58
IT PL ES DE RO NL HU BG EL AT BE SK SE HR CZ PT DK LT SI FI LV EE MT LU IE CY FR
Total
74
51
59
80
33
29
20
17
21
19
18
14
20
12
20
21
14
11
8
13
8
7
6
6
13
6
73
icon: PPE PPE
184

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2
2
icon: S&D S&D
121

Germany S&D

Against (1)

3

Greece S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Estonia S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

2
icon: ID ID
73

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1
3

Czechia ID

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Denmark ID

For (1)

1

Finland ID

Abstain (1)

1

Estonia ID

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
62

Germany ECR

For (1)

1

Romania ECR

1

Bulgaria ECR

2

Greece ECR

1
3

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

1

Latvia ECR

2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Italy Renew

For (1)

1

Hungary Renew

2

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Sweden Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Lithuania Renew

2

Slovenia Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Estonia Renew

3

Luxembourg Renew

2

Ireland Renew

2
icon: NI NI
26

Germany NI

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Netherlands NI

1

Hungary NI

1

Slovakia NI

Abstain (1)

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
71

Poland Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

1

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Latvia Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

1

Ireland Verts/ALE

2
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
39

Netherlands GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Belgium GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

4

Denmark GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

4

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
AmendmentsDossier
762 2020/2131(INI)
2020/07/15 IMCO 81 amendments...
source: 655.651
2020/09/03 CULT 44 amendments...
source: 655.981
2020/09/04 TRAN 236 amendments...
source: 657.173
2020/09/07 INTA 75 amendments...
source: 657.238
2020/09/08 ITRE 326 amendments...