Energizing the European Economy: Breaking Through Bureaucratic Barrier
for Enhanced Competitiveness and Economic Growth

EPP 2024 Congress - Hotel Ramada, Str. Poligrafiei nr. 3-5, Sectorul 1, 013704, room (tba)
from 12H30 to 14H00

Registration & Network Brunch/Lunch Buffet

Welcome & Opening

Ivan ŠTEFANEC MEP
President of SME Europe

Iuliu WINKLER MEP
First Vice-President of SME Europe

Press Pictures

Keynotes

Manfred WEBER
EPP Party and Parliamentary Group Leader

Mairead MCGUINNESS
European Commissioner

Friedrich MERZ (TBC)
CDU Party leader

Markus PIEPER MEP
Designated EU SME Envoy

Statements by Cooperation Partners

Henna VIRKKUNEN MEP
Co-Chair of the SME Circle of the EPP Group

Cllr Michael MURPHY
EPP-CoR Group Vice-President

Opening Statements by the SME Board

Sunčana GLAVAK MEP
Vice-President of SME Europe

Jörgen WARBORN MEP
Vice-President of SME Europe

Eva MAYDELL MEP
Vice-President of SME Europe

Claudia Monteiro de AGUIAR MEP
Vice-President of SME Europe

Closing

Dr. Paul RÜBIG
Honorary President of SME Europe

Dr. Ingo FRIEDRICH
Honorary President of SME Europe

Group Pictures

Moderation by

Dr. Horst HEITZ
Secretary General and Executive Director of SME Europe

The European Union has seen decades of prosperous economic growth and innovation, not in small measure due to the activity of its SMEs – in this sense, Europe can really be considered the continent of SMEs. Europe’s prosperous future is however no longer as guaranteed as it was in the past. In recent years, our middle class has had to confront numerous challenges, managing one crisis after another. The financial crisis, Euro crisis, Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s attack on Ukraine, high energy costs and inflation; adding to this, the burdens of the green and digital transitions, all amid heightened global competition and geopolitical rivalry. Despite the resilience and creativity of European businesses in tackling these challenges, a home-grown adversary increasingly disheartens SMEs: the self-imposed bureaucracy within the EU and its Member States. Suffocating the backbone of our economy will greatly impact competitiveness, jobs, innovation, and overall the prosperity of our societies. This erosion of trust among entrepreneurs marks the onset of a decline in competitiveness and a departure from our strategic position as a global role model.

As highlighted in the EPP Manifesto, we call for a European Commissioner for SMEs, that will safeguard the interests of entrepreneurs, cutting red tape and ensuring fair legislation for these key economic operators. Effective regulation is indispensable, but it needs to be fair, targeted and feasible in implementation. This approach is pivotal in reshaping the political climate, encouraging people to view EU law-making as opportunity rather than additional burden. Through competitiveness and a sustainable economy that prioritizes individuals, we can demonstrate that success and values can coexist. Guided by the principle “Less is more”, and “quality over quantity,” all aspects of European legislation must be scrutinized within this framework.

To register for this event, please contact us via email office@smeeurope.eu. Registration available only for invitees.

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The publication of this document received financial support from the European Parliament. Sole liability rests with the author. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.