Construction SMEs call for a quick implementation of the Small Business Act during the upcoming Polish Presidency of the European Union.
The European Builders Confederation (EBC) celebrated its Annual Congress in Warsaw, Poland on 9 and 10 June 2011. At this event, around 100 people from EBC’s 20 national member and partner organisations met to discuss the future of construction crafts and SMEs, and the role of the European Union in the future development of legislation and business environment for EBC members.
During the congress, the EBC Annual Report – available on the EBC website and on paper upon request to the EBC Secretariat – was presented, and the future EBC President, Mr Calvo Delgado from the Spanish member CNC, was elected to take a three-year term from 1 January 2012. The General Assembly on 10 June was officially opened by the Polish Vice-Premier and Minister for Economy, Waldemar Pawlak. He referred to the launch and setting up of the European Small Business Act (SBA), which will be the responsibility of the Polish presidency semester of the Council of the European Union. He also promised support concerning the implementation of the Late Payments Directive.
THE “THINK SMALL FIRST” APPROACH
Indeed, the SBA was the most relevant subject in the conference which followed the AGM. Opening the conference, Mrs Maarit Nyman, from the European Commission, presented its revision, which aims at supporting construction crafts and SMEs in order to foster their competitiveness in the European economy by applying the “Think Small First” approach. With regard to this principle, the French member of EBC, CAPEB, presented an initiative which aims at reducing time and money spent on complying with administrative requirements; a national secure electronic database of documents which each company can submit electronically only once by allowing all public administration offices to access those documents via the Internet.
POSSIBLE FUTURE EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE ON MUSCULO-SKELETAL DISORDERS
Willing to show how SMEs’ concerns must also be taken into account when developing new binding legislations, EBC decided to give relevance to Mr Antonio Cammarota from the European Commission who presented a possible future European directive on musculoskeletal disorders. This possible new directive is very controversial, since it would radically increase the obligations to employers and would be very harmful for SMEs. EBC thinks that this directive cannot be seen as a simplifi cation for SMEs and that it will be in stark contrast with the SBA’s framework. As it has already done, EBC calls on all its national member federations to approach government representatives to be alert for this danger.
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