Dr. Ivan ŠTEFANEC MEP
IMCO, ITRE, AIDA Committees,
President SME Europe of the EPP
Opening & Introduction
Vice-President Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers (ZPP), Member of EESC
Dr. Andreas SCHWAB MEP
IMCO, FISC, ECON Committees, IMCO Committee Rapporteur on the DMA
Dr. Ulrike SUCHSLAND
Senior Legal Counsel, Competition and Consumer Policy, BDI
Dr. Joakim WERNBERG
Author “Innovation, Competition and Digital Platforms Paradoxes”, Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum
Dr. Adina CLAICI
Director Brussels Office, Copenhagen Economics
Debate with Questions
Dr. Horst HEITZ
Executive Director SME Europe of the EPP
The European Commission’s Digital Compass is a chance to pave the road for solutions to achieve the vision of a digitally transformed and more resilient Europe. We must not miss a historic opportunity to devise what everyone agreed is needed: an informed regulation by policy-makers and new business models for big tech industries.
During normal business times, digital platforms and their services act as a bridge to fill the gaps that SMEs may have. In competitive situations, smarter deployment of digital services can multiply efforts and make SMEs more agile, more efficient, more able to compete for talent, customers and sales. At the same time, the pandemic forced SMEs to change their businesses: overall, 80% of SMEs increased use of digital services, demonstrating their broad application and value.
In this hasty transition, decision-makers should cultivate a regulatory environment that nurtures SME access to world-class digital services and a global customer base and abstain from policies that indirectly increase the cost of digital services for price-sensitive SME leaders. To prevent such barriers and blockers to materialise for European SMEs, we strongly advocate for regulators and the tech industry to form structured partnerships and joint taskforces, which already exist in other industries. Such practical action could make a real difference to millions of consumers and business users of platforms, maximising the total impact on the EU economy.
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