SMEs are the backbone and engine of Europe’s economy, accounting for more than half of its GDP. Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, several SME support systems collapsed. Since the strategy for SMEs predates the crisis and thus failed to cope with the challenges ahead, the European Commission intends to re-orient it, focusing on the current most relevant issues such as facilitating access to finance and implementing the late payment directive.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) supports the EC in the revision of the latest proposal and calls for a “Next Generation EU Strategy” for SMEs to mitigate the negative effects of lockdown. The strategy foresees financial measures, loans, and grants to help businesses survive and recover quickly. The EESC also addresses the liquidity issues, underlining the need for EU rapid response in preventing national credit systems delays and suggesting the creation of a new EU Network promoting alternative sources of financing like equity and capital markets.
The Covid-19 pandemic revealed some deficiencies in the SMEs support systems. According to EESC, these deficiencies can be resolved by setting up a representative organization in which SMEs will have a key role in the regulatory process.
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