Find the PDF of the press release here
Yesterday, Monday 6 April, EFESME had a second meeting with its members, to discuss together more into details, on the one hand, how the European Union has intervened to support the internal market and the EU Member States during the COVID-19 emergency; and on the other, what individual States are doing to help their SMEs to overcome this very difficult moment of international crisis.
In the first segment of the meeting, particular attention was paid to the actions that the European Commission, and the Union as a whole, through its various agencies and programmes, have put in place to intervene in favour of the single market and protect its main players. Given the importance of SMEs for the European economy, the measures put in place by the Union to help and protect them are undoubtedly welcome and represent an extremely valuable line of support for SMEs.
Measures such as the State Aid Framework flexibility, the mobilisation of the EU budget also in support of SMEs, the SURE programme, the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative and the new CRII+, as well as the involvement of the European Investment Fund (details on SMEs support are available here at the bottom of the page – Accessing finance for SMEs and mid-caps), are all very much welcomed by the sector and all SMEs as they show the the extent of the “firepower” put in place by the European Commission and the Union to better protect its citizens, and to support the common market to start overcoming the crisis.
The second part of the meeting, on the other hand, focused on the actions taken by individual Governments: compared to the first EFESME meeting on the subject (25 March), the actions taken by individual states have become much more numerous and important, demonstrating the criticality of the situation.
With regard to the measures put in place by individual governments, the EFESME Secretariat and its members have decided to exchange as much information as possible on national policies, so that these can also serve as an inspiration on how the various associations can intervene locally to support their members. Through EFESME’s new internal communication channels, discussions are already taking place on how to find share solutions, and how to support each other in case of supply problems.
Once again, the situation in Italy and the measures put in place by the government have been taken as examples, but it has been noted with relative satisfaction that many other states have decided to intervene massively in their markets. Other states, whose domestic situation is not as dramatic as the Italian one, are however activating measures that provide for the protection of workers, partial closure of SMEs to support the containment of the epidemic, and support, both via partial measures and more important ones, to their markets and SMEs.
Despite sometimes different national positions, EFESME members have found many points of discussion in common, and have renewed their commitment to support each other through the Federation to help their SMEs to overcome the crisis together.
EFESME and its President thank the members for their participation and for the ongoing, collective effort they are making to protect and support SMEs they so effectively represent.