On the 19th of November, I was honoured to be elected as the new president of EFB. I recognise that as a community and as a continent, we will be facing important challenges in the coming years.
My message to President von der Leyen, and her team of Commissioners is clear: We need a Europe that is flexible and powerful together in order to survive as a global player. The necessary and just pursuit of sustainability must work in tandem with the economy.
Positively, it seems that our message has already gained traction in the new European Commission. As the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said in her inaugural address:
“Competitiveness and sustainability go hand in hand. Competitive sustainability has always been at the heart of our social market economy. We just called it differently. Think of the family owned business all across our European Union. They were not built on sole shareholder values or the next bonuses. They were built to last, to past down generation, to provide a fair living for the employees. They were built on passion, for quality, tradition an innovation.”
For EFB, there is no doubt that the future prosperity of Europe depends on the survival, renewal and growth of its millions of family businesses, most of which are SMEs. We need to empower them with the right framework to grow sustainably. For EFB there are four topics that need to be addressed during this institutional cycle:
- Rebalance the EU economy by promoting long-term sustainable financing;
- Ensure that Europe’s citizens are equipped with the right skills for the future;
- Enable SMEs to reach their full potential by going for growth;
- Empower the next generation of entrepreneurs.
EFB believes passionately in the European Project. We believe that family business model is a force for good in Europe. We remain committed to Europe, as we have done for generations. I invite you all to engage with EFB to strengthen our voice, to ensure that we continue to play a prominent role in the decision-making process.