SME Envoys were invited to meet on 30 and 31 March in Luxembourg to discuss sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. The meeting was chaired by Hubert Gambs, Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
After a first day of various visits, including the Belval Campus of the University of Luxembourg and the city of Schengen, the 55 Representatives of the national ministries in charge of SMEs (EU and COSME countries) met on the second day in Mondorf-les-Bains.
At the meeting, Luxembourg’s Minister for Small and Medium-sized Businesses, Lex Delles, emphasised that he particularly appreciates the work of the SME Envoys Network, which intensifies exchanges and cooperation between the EU Member States. “This work is all the more crucial, as small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the Luxembourg and European economy. However, we are facing new common challenges in Europe and around the world. Global warming, the depletion of natural resources and growing inequalities are climatic and societal challenges that we must all face,” Minister Delles said.
“In the context of energy crisis, reinforced by the war in Ukraine, it is essential to move towards more sustainable operating models. Corporate social responsibility plays a key role in this context and allows us to pursue intelligent and sustainable growth. The Luxembourg government is therefore actively committed to promoting CSR among small and medium-sized enterprises,” he said, adding: “Europe must do more to encourage and support small and medium-sized enterprises in their transition to sustainable growth.”
Responding to the challenges of the green and digital transition
Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, participated in the meeting by video conference. “In a geopolitical context that is more volatile than ever, the resilience of the European economy depends to a large extent on the capacity of its industrial fabric, in particular SMEs, to respond to the challenges of the green and digital transition,” Commissioner Breton said.
“The European Commission, through its industrial policy, its regulatory simplification actions and its investment tools, in particular InvestEU, is continuing its efforts to offer SMEs a European framework that is conducive to their competitiveness, and to channel the necessary resources towards innovative, high-tech, growth-generating projects,” he said. The Commissioner added that, in this respect, the SME Envoys Network representatives constitutes a real transmission belt between the strategic objectives of the European Union and the economic vitality of its territories.
The network of representatives of EU Member States’ ministries responsible for small and medium-sized enterprises, SME Envoys, was created in 2011 to encourage and guide the development of SME-friendly regulations and policies in the European Union. This advisory group, which meets four times a year, works to improve the consultation process for European small and medium-sized enterprises. The SME Envoys meetings are an important channel of communication between the European Commission, small and medium-sized enterprises and their representative organisations.
For more information on SMEs in Europe, visit the European Commission website and get the latest updates on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal, and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.
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