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UK referendum is a wake-up call for Europe


15 Nov 2016


Innovation & Enterprise

Brussels, 24th June 2016 – UEAPME regrets UK citizens’ decision to support the Brexit. However, this decision needs to be respected. The “leave” outcome will be detrimental for the UK, the other European countries and European SMEs in their efforts towards jobs and growth. For UEAPME, the referendum has made it clear that the EU has to improve its performance. First and foremost, bureaucracy has to be substantially reduced for all SMEs in all EU countries. UEAPME will support the European Institutions and continue to contribute to this objective with constructive proposals. Also, UEAPME will continue to collaborate with SMEs in the United Kingdom in order to maintain business ties.


President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller commented on the UK’s vote to leave the European Union:

“UEAPME regrets to hear that the majority of UK citizens voted to leave the EU. We see the result as a strong call for a reform of the Europe Union. Things need to change, especially in order to create a more business friendly environment for our SMEs. Not only do we need Europe to be less bureaucratic, we also need the necessary reforms to create the right framework conditions for our SMEs to start a business and to successfully make it grow. Nevertheless, UEAPME remains convinced that the common European way is the best way to achieve that goal. We will therefore continue to fully support the European Institutions in that respect and persevere in our collaboration with SME associations and SMEs in Britain in a constructive and forward-looking manner.”


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EDITORS’ NOTES: UEAPME is the employers’ organisation representing Crafts and SMEs from the EU and accession countries at European level. UEAPME has 64 member organisations covering about 12 million enterprises with 55 million employees. UEAPME is a European Social Partner. For further information please visit or follow @UEAPME on Twitter.



Jenny Manin, Press and Communications Officer, Tel. +32 (0)496 520 329, Email:



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