Newsletter – Issue 2 – 2018

Newsletter – Issue 2 – 2018

Gunilla Almgren re-appointed as SBS President

On 7 February 2018, the new Board of SBS met for the first time since its election by the General Assembly on 30 November 2017, and the subsequent appointment of its President, Vice-Presidents and Treasurer for the next four years.
Gunilla Almgren, who has served as Small Business Standards’ President since the association’s establishment in December 2013, was re-elected for a second term as President. Ms Almgren is an entrepreneur in the sanitary fittings industry and her micro-enterprise is based in Sweden.
The Board also re-confirmed Gérard Bobier (APCMA, the French Assembly of Craft Chambers) as Internal Affairs Vice-President, and Tim Krögel (ZDH, the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts) as Treasurer.
In addition, the Board elected Fabio Massimo (European Digital SME Alliance) as the new External Affairs Vice-President.
The new Board has two main priorities for the coming four years. The first is to pursue SBS activities aimed at improving access to the EU standardisation process for SMEs. Secondly, SBS will continue to simplify compliance for SMEs with standards, by expanding its network of experts and further working with all stakeholders involved in standardisation.

How to define European SMEs: new Commission consultation

On 6 February 2018, the European Commission launched an official public consultation, in all EU languages, on the possible revision of the European SME definition. The Commission sees the EU SME Definition as a structural tool to identify those enterprises facing market failures and particular challenges (e.g. access to finance) due to their size, and which are therefore allowed to receive preferential treatment in public support. The Commission regularly monitors the implementation of the EU SME Definition, as set out in the EU recommendation 2003/361. The latest evaluation, in 2012, concluded that there was no need for a major revision of the EU SME Definition. SBS will of course participate in the new public consultation.
Link to consultation.

According to the ‘Annual Report on European SMEs 2016/2017’, SMEs represent 99.8% of all the enterprises in the non-financial sector, they employ 93 million people, account for 67% of total employment and generate 57% of the added value. Moreover, 93% of SMEs are micro-enterprises, employing less than 10 persons. While authorities tend to focus on high-tech and innovative companies, the reality is that over 90% of new enterprises are created in the traditional sectors. The report this year specifically focuses on the important role played by the self-employed in the European economy. Totalling 30.6 million, they account for 14% of employment (by creating a job for themselves) and at least 20% of the firms created by the self-employed succeed in increasing employment by more than five employees (visit the European Commission’s website for more information).

SBS experts gather in Brussels for induction training, policy updates and networking

On 13 and 14 February 2018, the first SBS experts’ meeting of the year took place in Brussels, bringing together experts from across Europe. The first day was dedicated to an induction training for new SBS experts, allowing the newly appointed experts and the secretariat to meet for the first time. During the induction training, the coordinators highlighted the specific mission and role expected from the experts in 2018. On day two, experts were informed about ongoing issues at EU level, such as political issues and the James Elliot case (potential impact on European harmonised standards of the European Court of Justice ruling in October 2016). The experts also learned much from a talk by a British Standardisation Institute (BSI) representative on the implications of Brexit on standardisation. The next experts’ meeting will take place on 8 November 2018 in Brussels.

Launch of SBS’ SME Guide for ISO27001, the international standard on IT security

Protecting personal records and commercially sensitive information from cyber-attacks is critical within any organisation. With the aim of helping small businesses to tackle the issue, SBS and DIGITAL SME have just published an SME Guide for the implementation of ISO/IEC 27001 on information security management.
ISO/IEC 27001 is the international standard for companies that need a robust approach to managing information security and building resilience. This Guide was developed by information security experts appointed by well-known SME and cyber-security trade associations from several different European countries. Calling on ISO/IEC 27001 content, the Guide describes a series of practical activities that can significantly help when establishing or raising information security levels within an SME. Please note that SBS will be organising workshops and dedicated training sessions during 2018 to present the Guide to SMEs and interested users.
Access here our newest SME Guide

Kick-off meeting for new project on protective equipment and textile care regulation

On 25 and 26 January 2018, the textile care associations of France, UK, Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, Belgium and Germany met in Paris to discuss the new SBS sectoral approach in the field of personal protective equipment and textile care. The sectoral approach will focus on two specific issues: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Medical Devices.
SBS Board member Andreas Schumacher presented the new joint project to the other textile care associations. With the new PPE regulation EU 2016/425 and Medical Device Regulation 2017/745 in place, he invited them to discuss and comment on drafts and guideline papers for these EU Regulations as well as on articles and position papers that SBS, DTV and SME Safety will draw up in 2018. Participants warmly welcomed the new sectoral approach, which should ensure the voice of SMEs in regulation and standardisation matters will be heard more. The attending SME representatives agreed to get involved and share the information and documents with their members. They also expressed a need for their SMEs to be better included and to coordinate at European level.


Views and opinions expressed are those of Small Business Standards (SBS) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EFTA. Neither the European Union nor EFTA can be held responsible for them.