Europe's strength is its diversity and that also is true for our european single market. Our economy is neither borderless like the United States looking for unicorns, nor government-controlled like China building state champions. If we want to build our European economic narrative, it should be one that understands our diversity as a competitive advantage. This diversity today manifests itself in a large ecosystem of SMEs, who employ a large part of our workforce and shoulder a significant portion of our social security systems. SMEs are our innovation motors and essential to move our industries and societies forward.

Other global blocks understand the importance of SMEs. The United States Small Business Act since 1953 reserves 23% of public contracts for SMEs to help commercialise their solutions and increase their competitiveness. The European Commission followed suit in 2008 by proposing our own Small Busines Act. However, a far cry from something substantial, it only included non binding recommendations to validate regulation on national level to not have any adverse effects on SMEs. Such lipservice today is no longer enough as many our markets are facing stiffer and stiffer regulation that often goes to the detriment of SMEs innovative capacity and their competitiveness on global markets. European SMEs risk to becoming an "endangered species", but must instead support them to grow and become the large enterprises who are today often still missing in Europe.

Take our digital markets: whether it's the Cyber Resilience Act trying to hold publishers of open source software liable for damages incurred by 3rd parties building products from these open source components or the AI Act assuming the whole world will follow Europe's ideas and not undertake potentially harmful research, regulation being passed will force the biggest global players to adapt while risquing to force SMEs out of markets, Europe and sometimes existence.

Europe and member states are spending a lot of public funds on supporting SMEs in R&D effort. But innovative products and services are often faced with established players on saturated markets and difficulties to gain a foothold. If we want to increase the chance of our investments into innovation turning into successful products and ensure the diversity of our markets, we need to do more than just nurture innovation.

And finally, regulation often introduces standards and certifications that tend to impose the solutions of the most influential actors or are unattainable for SMEs. Just as citizens would object to only having to speak English in Europe, SMEs and our diversity would suffer from standards that enforce specific solutions to be used. Regulation needs to be done with chirugical precision to have a positive effect. We cannot regulate with a baseball bat and willfully accept SMEs to take collateral damage.

My elements for a Small Business Act

  • Protection

    Protecting SMEs against being disadvantaged by regulation passed on Europen and national level.

  • Support

    Reserving 25% of public contracts for SMEs to support commercialisation and competitiveness.

  • Interoperability

    Pushing for openess, transparency and interoperability for SMEs over the introduction of standards.

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I'm head of the list for Volt France. Sadly, to get into the European Parliament in France, the best ideas will never see the light of day without funding to finance bulletins de vote and professions de fois and the network to share good proposals. If you have contacts possibly willing to support a European Small Business Act with a donation or even want to donate yourself, you can get a Small Business Act a step closer to becoming reality. If you want to share this proposal in your network, please do, so we can create the momentum we need. Thank you!

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