“With the total and utter devastation left by COVID-19 on SMEs across the European continent, it is hard to comprehend why the European Commission is finding it so hard to appoint the

much-needed SME Envoy,” declared the co-chairs of the EPP Group SME Circle, Henna Virkkunen MEP and Jens Gieseke MEP.

Gieseke and Virkkunen have formally asked the Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Cristian Buşoi MEP, to include this topic on the agenda of the next meeting, in order to get the desperately-needed answers from the Commission.

For far too many years, the EPP Group has been calling for a single and central contact for SMEs within the European Commission in order to provide structured and systemic assistance. Finally, on 10 March 2020, the Commission announced the appointment of an SME Envoy in its communication entitled ‘An SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe.’ Notwithstanding this, 11 months down the line, the SME Envoy has not yet been appointed.

On 1 December 2020, the SME Circle co-chairs submitted a written parliamentary question on the subject but it went unanswered.

“We are not only profoundly disappointed but also worried that the appointment of such an important position is not a priority for the European Commission. The vast majority of small businesses all over Europe are currently on the verge of collapse and the Commission does not have the time to nominate a person to focus specifically on their needs”, explained Gieseke and Virkkunen.

The two co-chairs of the EPP Group SME Circle pledge to continue insisting on this nomination since SMEs are, and always have been, a key priority for the EPP Group.