How can SMEs thrive post-pandemic in a digitalised world?
The Digital Services Act (DSA) is one of the most important updates of Europe’s digital rules in over two decades. The aim of the regulation is to foster innovation, growth and competitiveness, and facilitate the scaling up of smaller platforms, SMEs and start-ups.
The regulation is key for SMEs, as through a horizontal, harmonised rulebook applicable throughout the Digital Single Market, they should be able to gain access to cross-border customers in their critical growth phase. Particularly important tools for SMEs are digital and personalised advertisements, which allow them to reach consumers and offer products and services.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent acceleration of digitalisation, a shift has taken place in which customer interactions have increasingly moved from an offline to an online environment. This has resulted in online advertising becoming even more essential for smaller businesses, enabling them to interact with consumers who visit physical stores less.
Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss how the voice of SMEs can be elevated and how the role of digital tools can be further enhanced to help drive the recovery of European SMEs. Questions to be discussed include:
- How do SMEs use digital tools and marketplaces to reach new customers, export, and compete in the digital age?
- What barriers must SMEs overcome to increase digital tool adoption and access to online marketplaces?
- What are the potential consequences for small business of EU policy proposals to regulate large tech companies?
- What regulatory environment do SMEs need to thrive post-pandemic?
Birgit Weidel, Head of Unit, SMEs, DG Grow, European Commission
Arba Kokalari MEP, Member IMCO Committee, European Parliament
Ivan Štefanec MEP, President, SME Europe
Jan Havlik, Head of Unit for Internal Market and Competitiveness, Czech Permanent Representation to the EU
Karen Massin, Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy, European Institutions, Google Europe
Ross Melzer, EU Affairs Director, EURACTIV
14:30 – 14:35 Welcome
14:35 – 14:50 Panellist statements
14:50 – 15:40 Discussion and Q&A
15:40 – 15:45 Closing statements
Small and medium enterprises (SME) have been closely following progress on the upcoming European digital regulations, as EU policymakers are trying to find the right balance between protecting consumers, supporting innovation, and ensuring a level playing field. “Sometimes good intentions...