The Voice of SMEs in Europe
The European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
UEAPME (Union Européenne de l’Artisanat et des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises) is the employer’s organisation representing the interests of European crafts, trades and SMEs at EU level. UEAPME is a recognised European Social Partner and acts on behalf of crafts and SMEs in the European Social Dialogue and in discussions with the EU institutions. It is a non-profit seeking and non-partisan organisation.
As the European SME umbrella organisation, UEAPME incorporates 67 member organisations consisting of national cross-sectorial SME federations, European branch federations and other associate members, which support the SME family.
Across the whole of Europe, UEAPME represents over 12 million enterprises with nearly 55 million employees.
The main objectives of UEAPME, as the voice of of crafts, trades and SMEs in Europe include:
Monitoring the EU policy and legislative process and keeping its members informed on all matters of European Union policy of relevance to crafts, trades and SMEs
Representing and promoting the interests, needs and opinions of its member organisations to the EU institutions and other international organisations
Supporting its members academically, technically and legally on all areas of EU policy
Supporting the idea of European integration and contributing to European co-operation.
As the recognised voice for the interests of crafts, trades and SMEs in Europe, UEAPME acts as an ’agenda setter’ in the area of European SME policy. It has direct role in all EU policy that has an affect on SMEs. This is made possible through the maintenance of direct links and contact with the EU administration and strengthened by its status as a Social Partner.
UEAPME endeavours to ensure that the interests of crafts and SMEs are taken into account in all legislation that has an impact on them. Some of the key legislative areas in which UEAPME is active include: economic and fiscal policy, employment and social policy, environmental policy, enterprise policy, internal market, legal affairs, and R&D.
UEAPME analyses the role of SMEs in European economies and the challenges they face. On the basis of this analysis, UEAPME, with its members, identifies the ways in which SMEs can adapt to the challenges of the open and competitive EU economy.
UEAPME subscribed to the European Commission’s Register of Interest representatives and to the related code of conduct as requested by the European Transparency Initiative. The organisation’s profile can be consulted here. For the financial year 2010, the costs to the organisation directly or indirectly related to representing interests to EU institutions amounted to 1,806,915 EUR.