by Guido Lena

UEAPME has certainly been keeping busy while it strives to stay as involved as possible in all EU committees and working groups.

The main reason for this representation is to ensure that SMEs’ interests are kept into consideration during the discussions of these bodies and that SMEs can express their opinion on the different issues on their agendas.

As a matter of fact, it is important to remind that SMEs, and particularly micro and small businesses, which want to go green face some serious obstacles and that going from a linear model to a circular one can be considered like a revolution for the big bulk of SMEs, which cannot happen overnight.

Among the biggest problems SMEs have to face we can definitely find lack of information, lack of technical assistance at local level, difficult access to finance to cover the upfront costs to change plants and manufacturing schemes, lack of skilled workers and, sometimes, lack of experts in this field also in business organisations at some levels.

Therefore, UEAPME has been lobbying for a the setting up of a favorable framework at EU and national level providing SMEs with information, technical assistance (preferably for free or at a very low cost) at local level, easier access to different forms of financing, tax reductions when employing staff specialized in sustainability and capacity building for the SME organisations which are lagging behind in this area and are not able to adequately support their members.

Progress has been going on at EU level since the adoption of the Green Action Plan for SMEs in 2014 but not all the gaps have been addressed consistently so far.

You can check out the full agenda here: UEAPME Circular Economy