SMEs need international business opportunities to be competitive European Parliament identifies necessary action


23 Oct 2012


Euro & Finance
Innovation & Enterprise

Press release

EuroCommerce welcomes the Paul Rübig report on an internationalisation strategy for European SMEs, that was adopted today by the European Parliament.

SMEs are the backbone of the European economy, 99% of European retail and wholesale businesses are small or medium-sized. To successfully compete in an increasingly globalised market, they need better access to markets for the import/export of goods and services. The EU needs to foster SME competitiveness by implementing the “think small first” principle and by putting the Small Business Act into action.

In a time of widespread difficulty and economic crisis, EuroCommerce applauds the message sent by the European Parliament today and encourages the European Institutions and Member States to continue their joint efforts to legislate in the most sustainable manner to the benefit of all businesses, in particular SMEs, which suffer the most from complex regulation.

SMEs need concrete measures to seize global opportunities, cut red tape, avail themselves of better access to finance and funding programmes that really suit their needs. Entrepreneurship in Europe needs a strong boost to help small companies to deliver their contribution to jobs and growth. Two weeks ago, on the occasion of the SME week, EuroCommerce launched its manifesto on the ‘six growth essentials for SMEs’ to stress those points with policy makers.

EuroCommerce supports Paul Rübig MEP and the European Parliament in their call to unleash the potential of SMEs. “The adoption of Dr Rübig’s report is a promising step in ensuring that commerce SMEs, and businesses in general, get the appropriate support and tools to stimulate their competitiveness. Those who will ultimately benefit will be consumers through better choices and lower prices”, commented Christian Verschueren, EuroCommerce Director-General.


For further information, please contact:

Marjolein Raes

Director of Advocacy & Communications

Tel: +32 2 737 05 99

EuroCommerce and the commerce sector

EuroCommerce represents the retail, wholesale and international trade sectors in Europe. Its membership includes commerce federations and companies in 31 European countries.

Commerce plays a unique role in the European economy, acting as the link between manufacturers and the nearly 500 million consumers across Europe over a billion times a day. It is a dynamic and labour-intensive sector, generating 11% of the EU’s GDP. One company out of three in Europe is active in the commerce sector. Over 99% of the 6 million companies in commerce are small and medium-sized enterprises. It also includes some of Europe’s most successful companies. The sector is a major source of employment creation: 33 million Europeans work in commerce, which is one of the few remaining job-creating activities in Europe. It also supports millions of dependent jobs throughout the supply chain from small local suppliers to international businesses.


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