EU Representative for SMEs

The EU Representative will work with business organisations to lobby the Commission on the specific concerns and needs of SMEs, in particular to reduce the bureaucratic burden on our companies.

As reported by the EU Commission, the Parliamentary Secretary of the CDU/CSU group, Markus Pieper (CDU), has been appointed EU Envoy for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) on 31 January 2024. He will report directly to President Ursula von der Leyen.

SMEs are the backbone of the EU economy. The Commission is determined to take bold action to support SMEs, recognising their role in the transition to a green, digital and resilient economy and their contribution to the EU's long-term prosperity. Against this background, the Commission has adopted a Communication on an SME support package, including the appointment of a dedicated EU SME Envoy, as announced by President von der Leyen in her recent State of the Union speech, to advise the Commission on SME issues and represent the interests of SMEs externally to ensure that the 'Think Small First' principle is applied effectively. The EU SME Envoy will also chair the network of SME Envoys and thus liaise closely with the national SME Envoys. He will work with business organisations to lobby the Commission on the specific concerns and needs of SMEs, in line with the Commission's Better Regulation agenda. This includes, in particular, working to reduce red tape for our businesses, identifying pending SME-related EU legislation and signalling to the Commission, through regular dialogue with the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, which rules deserve particular attention from an SME perspective.

According to Handelsblatt, Markus Pieper will also report directly to Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, who Pieper recently "harshly criticised", according to reports in the Deutsche Handwerks Zeitung: "His understanding of SMEs is 'zero', Pieper had said at an event organised by Hessisches Handwerk 2023. Now he can criticise Breton in person - and do better."

The effective date of his appointment will be determined at a later date.

The more than 4,000 retailers and manufacturers of non-food products organised in the Association for the Take-back and Recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (VERE) e.V. welcome the appointment of a special SME representative by the EU Commission. VERE sees the appointment of Markus Pieper as a strong ally for SMEs and looks forward to constructive cooperation, especially in reducing and avoiding further bureaucratic and costly requirements for our members in the area of extended producer responsibility (EPR) and product compliance.

Would you also like to have your interests represented by a strong SME association? Then join our VERE Association today: Thanks to our many thousands of members, the annual membership fee is only 25.00 euros plus VAT (can be cancelled annually).

Become a member now: Here you will find the VERE membership application form.

Christoph Brellinger

Christoph Brellinger
Executive secretary

Phone: +49 40 750687-200