On the 16th of September, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted an own-initiative opinion on ‘Family businesses in Europe as a source of renewed growth and better jobs.’ Much like the European Parliament the previous week, the report by the EESC, is another important milestone for the family business community in Brussels, as the opinion acknowledges family businesses as the backbone of many economies around the world.
Professor Jan Klimek, who leads the Family Business Department at the Warsaw School of Economics in Poland, was the lead author of the report. The report in itself is comprehensive as its covers almost every possible avenue of where governmental and institutional support is needed and favourable.
In summary, the EESC calls for:
- an active strategy promoting best practices on family businesses to be implemented among Member States;
- preparation of a legal framework on family businesses, which would include a commonly acceptable definition of a Family Business;
- a family business category to be included in European statistics and national data on family business to be gathered in an effective way;
- better regulation on the transfer of family businesses from one generation to the next;
- the family organisational climate and innovation among family firms to be promoted;
- education to be developed and research promoted in the area of family entrepreneurship;
- family farms to be supported and cooperative-based entrepreneurship redeveloped;
- tax deductions to be introduced on reinvested profits, and opportunities for family businesses to increase their capital without granting voting rights;
- active cooperation at EU level with organisations representing family businesses
As with the European Parliament’s initiative report on family business, the EESC report is another significant moment for the family business community in Europe. EFB hopes that further institutional recognition via bodies such as the EESC will lead to the long-term consideration of family businesses by policy makers when creating new policies or modifying existing ones.