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BusinessEurope’s SME Roadshow. Third stop The Hague. How to turn Europe into an SME superpower

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeline of Europe’s economy. They create jobs and wealth in Europe where most of their business is carried out. However, in the last years SMEs have gone through multiple challenges due to persistent labour shortages, higher energy prices, costlier credit and a deluge of new regulations, while the need to become more sustainable and innovative increases. SMEs fail to grow in Europe; a reversal is necessary.

To address SME issues and find solutions together with stakeholders, BusinessEurope is organising its third "SME Roadshow" in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 15 May 2024, together with the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and in collaboration with MKB-Nederland.

This in-person event, followed by a lunch will gather key representatives from European and national institutions, SMEs and entrepreneurs from across Europe for a debate on the key issues the European institutions should put at the core in their next five-year mandate.


Note: the timings below are based on CET.

Moderated by: Mathijs Schiffers, EU correspondent, Het Financieele Dagblad; author of the book "Brexit, Brussel, Brabant" (March 2024)

09.00-09.30 Check-in

Welcoming message by:

  • Ingrid Thijssen, President, VNO-NCW

The economic state of European SMEs

  • Kasper Buiting, Senior Economist, VNO-NCW

Regulatory burdens & SMEs: enough is enough

Panel discussion with:

  • Rudy van Zijp, Director, ATR (Dutch Advisory Board on Regulatory Burden); Chair, RegWatchEurope
  • Peter Bex, Owner, Sira Consulting
  • Martynas Barysas, Director for Internal Market, BusinessEurope
  • Ioana-Cristina Condurat, Secretariat-General, European Commission
10.45-11.00 Coffee break

Reflection on the SME policy in the last five years

Keynote address by:

  • Martina Dlabajová, MEP, co-Chair of the SME Intergroup, European Parliament

How to turn Europe into an SME superpower

Panel discussion with:

  • Martina Dlabajová, MEP, co-Chair of the SME Intergroup, European Parliament
  • Fabrice Le Saché, Chair, BusinessEurope’s Entrepreneurship & SME Committee; President and founder, Aera Group
  • Outi Slotboom, Director, European Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
  • Thomas Grosfeld, Director Economy, Entrepreneurship & International Trade, VNO-NCW

Concluding remarks by:

  • Jacco Vonhof, President, MKB-Nederland
Last updated: 14 May 2024