12 October                     

15.00 - 16.00 | Providing an SME-friendly ecosystem for the recovery

The importance of SMEs to the economy is clear and this thus translates to a pivotal role in driving Europe’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. While SMEs are often more exposed to the impact of economic crises, they are also more adaptable to shifting conditions and more responsive to evolving market trends. SMEs need a supportive environment if they are to recover and contribute to the jumpstarting of Europe’s economy.

This event will consider the key elements this SME-friendly ecosystem, from EU level down to the grass roots level.

Key points to be addressed:

  • Financial support rolled out to SMEs in the framework of the MFF 2021-2027 and Next Generation EU
  • The EU SME Strategy as a tool for achieving growth and competitiveness of small businesses
  • Avoiding unnecessary regulatory and administrative burdens on SMEs
  • The role of business support organisations and networks in driving the SME recovery forward


Moderator: Ben Butters, CEO of EUROCHAMBRES
PanelistsJosianne Cutajar, MEP, Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy | Kristin Schreiber, Director for SME Policy, DG GROW | Gilbert Stimpflin, President of CCI Grand Est

                     13 October                     

11.00 - 12.00 | Right skills for the recovery of European businesses

The COVID-19 crisis came suddenly and immediately challenged the current supply of skills. However, many businesses successfully shifted their work to the digital world, unemployment rose in many countries, what widened the already significant skills mismatches.

The new Skills Agenda proposed 12 actions aiming not just at bolstering the digital and green transitions, but also at improving the deteriorating condition of employment. Besides the adequacy of the EU response, we will discuss the role that the chambers of commerce and industry need to play in the recovery of the labour market.

Key points to be addressed:

  • Effects of reductions in MFF 2021-2027 on investments in re/upskilling SME employees
  • The impact of the new Skills Agenda on improving quality and access to work-based learning
  • EU instruments to tackle unemployment and support young people in entering the labour market
  • The role of the EU policies in stimulating entrepreneurial skills and attitudes


Moderator: Adam Gajek, Policy Adviser on Skills, EUROCHAMBRES
Panelists: Manuela Geleng, Director for Skills, DG EMPL | Martha Schultz, Vice President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber | Monica Semedo, MEP, Member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs 

15.00 - 16.00 | Single Market as a lever for the economic recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic put the integrity of the Single Market under heavy strain, as EU countries one after the other shut down their borders in order to protect their citizens. More than ever this situation underscored how much our value chains are not confined anymore within national territories.

Even before the virus outbreak, companies in the chamber network were complaining about the lack of integration of the Single Market and the flurry of different rules and procedures they are confronted with.

In this session, the speakers will discuss how to have a new momentum to create a more ambitious Single Market and how it can contribute to the economic recovery effort of the EU.


Key points to be addressed:

  • How to ensure that the damage to the integrity of the single market during COVID does not have a lasting impact
  • What can be done to reduce the economic damage of national measures imposed at borders in response to COVID-19?
  • How can the single market be strengthened as part of the economic recovery effort?
  • What is the role of the Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET) in this process and how can the business community get involved?

Moderator: Erwan Bertrand,  Head of Single Market Policy, EUROCHAMBRES
PanelistsTorsten Anderson, SME Envoy for Denmark | Marko Čadež, President of CCI Serbia | Hubert Gambs, Deputy Director-General for DG GROW | Andreas Schwab, Member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

                     14 October                     

11.00 - 12.00 | A renewed Trade Strategy to drive the European economic recovery post COVID

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our highly intertwined European economies. So it is essential that trade is part of the solution for a swift and effective European economic recovery.

While it essential to preserve and improve trading rules for a stable, transparent, fair, and predictable international trade environment, especially for our SMEs, the global pandemic has taught many valuable lessons that need to be reflected in a new Trade Strategy. Increased supply chain security, more diversification, strengthened digital trade and how global commerce can help the transition towards greener and more circular economies is all part of issues which EU Trade will need to address for a more resilient European economy post-COVID.


Key points to be addressed:

  • Trade in a post-COVID era: How to maximize benefits for European SMEs through the EU trade policy
  • How do you strengthen the resilience of international trade routes during global crises
  • WTO-Reform: What reforms are needed, and what role can the EU play in the negotiations?
  • Trade strategy for 2020 and beyond

Moderator: Dominic Boucsein, Head of International Trade and Foreign Policy, EUROCHAMBRES
PanelistsBernd Lange, MEP, Chair of the Committee on International Trade | 
Stéphanie Leupold, Head of Unit for Trade Strategy, DG TRADE | Ian Talbot, CEO Chambers Ireland

15.00 - 16.00 | Financing the Green Deal – mobilising private and public funding for a green recovery

The Green Deal is considered by many to be the basis for a recovery that enables the transition to a sustainable economy. Significant public funding programmes have been proposed to support research, innovation, infrastructure, switching of business models and much more. However, neither the transition nor the economic recovery will be achieved without the mobilisation of private finance to close the gap. Several EU initiatives aim at channeling sufficient investment into economic activities deemed sustainable.

A careful balance must be struck to create an enabling framework that ensures all sectors will benefit from the sustainable transition.

Key points to be addressed:

  • How does investment into sustainable economic activities stimulate growth?
  • How to strike the balance between long-term sustainable investment and short-term growth stimulus?
  • What are the best public tools to encourage and enable private sustainable investment especially by SMEs?
  • What are the developments on the international stage?


Moderator: Clemens RosenmayrHead of Energy & Environment Policy, EUROCHAMBRES
PanelistsAntoine Colombani, Member of Cabinet of Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans for the European Green Deal  | Aurore Maillet, Deputy Head of Unit on Sustainable Development Goals Green Finance & Economic Analysis, DG ENV Siegfried Muresan, MEP, member of BUDG and ECON Committees

16.30 - 18.00 | Rebooting Europe: final high level panel

The final event in the EUROCHAMBRES Rebooting Europe online events series will build on the 5 thematic sessions over the preceding two days. The main levers for rebooting Europe will be discussed by EUROCHAMBRES President, Christoph Leitl, and a panel of high-level EU policy-makers. Given the dramatic and unforeseeable developments since March 2020, what can the EU do – more, less or differently – to enable businesses, especially SMEs, to survive, revive and drive the recovery process?

REGISTER (guidelines for registration for this event)

Key points to be addressed:

  • Ensuring that growth and recovery are at the core of the twin transition and broader EU policy agenda for the coming years
  • Putting SMEs at the centre of policy-making processes and delivery
  • The key role of chambers of commerce & industry in converting the EU recovery package into EU recovery measures

Moderator: Ben Butters, CEO of EUROCHAMBRES
Claudia Dörr-Voß, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Christoph Leitl, President of EUROCHAMBRES
Pedro Silva Pereira, Vice President of the European Parliament
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for a Europe fit for the Digital Age
Angelika Winzig, Co-Chair European Parliament SME Intergroup & Head of the Austrian EPP Delegation


In the framework of