European Family Businesses (EFB) was invited by MEP Martina Dlabajová, to co-host an SME Intergroup breakfast meeting with the European Economic Social Committee (EESC). The topic of discussion was Business Transfers in Europe: What’s next.
The event was held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 28 February, 2023.
We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to share what best practises we think will help businesses to transfer to the next generation. In addition, we shared our expertise on how: family businesses are impacted by the business transfer process.
We thank the Co-chairs of the SME Intergroup, MEP Martina Dlabajová and MEP Angelika Winzig, for inviting EFB to participate and for putting this important topic on the agenda.
Next Generation Event
2023 was the first year in which EFB held its Next Generation event!
Having been originally scheduled for March 2020 and unable to go ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year on 24 and 25 April 2023, we were able to hold our event!
Under the title Brussels from the inside: NextGens Tomorrow’s Leaders, this event provided a group of 50 NextGens from different European countries with the opportunity to engage in different activities that aimed to show them, firsthand, the work of the main European institutions. This event also provided them with the opportunity to network with NextGen business owners from other EU Member States.
On 24April, the event began with a private visit of the D’Ieteren Gallery, a 7th generation family business, to visit a private car collection. This activity was then followed by a visit to the Grand Place for a chance to see the famous square. The first day continued with two learning sessions from EFB’s Sponsors KPMG and For Talents and a networking dinner.
For the second day of the event, 25 April, the group of NextGeners took part in discussions at the Visitors’ Centre of the European Commission where they had gained an insight into how the Commission works, how proposals become regulations or directives, how DG GROW’s Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs seek to build capacity and support SMEs in their transition and a session on the European Green Deal.
After this informative and engaging morning, the Next Geners went to the European Parliament for a lunch debate hosted by MEP Martina Dlabajová. This session enabled the development of a dialogue between a small group of MEPs and our NextGeners. The day ended with a visit to the European Parliament’s Hemicycle.
We thank all the participants and speakers for attending EFB’s first NextGens event.
Policy related events EFB attended in the first six months of 2023
SME Intergroup and SME Envoy meetings
Over the last six months, EFB representatives have attended SME Intergroup meetings and SME Envoy meetings. The SME Intergroup discussions are held at the European Parliament in Brussels. Here different topics addressing pressing policy related issues that may impact SMEs are explored.
The SME Envoy meetings are held by the European Commission and each meeting includes a wide array of policy related topics either upcoming or being worked on by the Commission. These meetings help to give: feedback and ensure ideas are shared on issues SMEs are facing. EFB, is an observer in this meeting but offers insights into what family businesses need from policymakers to remain competitive and to comply with reporting requirements.
Roundtable on the Digital Euro
On 28 February 2023, EFB was an observer at a round table on the digital euro. We were invited to put forth participants to take part in this discussion. The round table discussions were chaired by Commissioner McGuinness and Commissioner Breton. It brought together a small group of representatives from businesses, merchants, and the tech sector.
EFB at the Renew Europe taskforce
On 11April 2023, EFB was invited, by MEP Dlabajová, to participate at a Renew Europe taskforce. In which we presented the significance of family businesses, what they need to thrive and how MEPs can help. This presentation allowed us to further strengthen our contacts with the Renew Group MEPs and give voice to the issues family businesses face.
We will continue in our endeavour to voice the position of family businesses in Europe and to bring to attention of members of the European Institutions the significant contributions made by family businesses to society.
STEP Project Global Consortium
EFB’s secretary general Mr Jesús Casado spoke at the 2023 Global Family Business Summit in Valencia from 26-28 April 2023 as part of the STEP Project Global Consortium. The topics discussed included the importance of transfer of business being recognised at EU level, the need to focus on intrafamily business transfers and to put them on a level playing field with startups and transfer of business to third parties.
EFB position papers and publications
Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDDD)
During the first six months of 2023, the discussions on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence proposal (CSDDD) progressed. From 25 January – 9 March 2023, different European Parliamentary committees published their opinions detailing their position on several important sections of the CSDDD. The file is now in the trilogue phase. The second trilogue on the CSDDD has taken place on 11 July 2023.
In general we support the principle of the CSDDD, but we feel it will create additional reporting requirements for businesses. Visit our website for more information on our take on the CSDDD.
Debt Equity Bias Reduction Allowance (DEBRA)
The debt-equity bias reduction allowance (DEBRA) discussions are currently at the Council level where in December 2022, the Council chose to stop the discussions for the time being. To enter into force, the proposal requires the Council’s unanimous support.
EFB has long been calling for a level playing field when it comes to debt and equity.
To read more about EFB’s position on DEBRA, visit our comments to the Commission’s call for feedback.
Revision of the Late Payment Directive
In March 2023, EFB contributed to the European Commission’s consultation on the revision of the late payment directive where we shared our support for the Commission’s review of the Directive. We noted that the revision is important and necessary in order to protect businesses especially in economically challenging times. The European Commission is due to put forward a proposal of the revision of the late payment directive by 12 September 2023.
If you would like to access our contribution to the consultation visit the policy section of the EFB website.
EFB 9th Summit – Save the date!
EFB is pleased to announce that our 9th Summit will be taking place on 5October 2023. This year the summit will be held online. It will last three hours, starting at 9am and finishing at 12pm. The theme is: Overcoming the barriers to sustainable growth. We look forward to welcoming you online to the interesting discussions we will be holding.
Keep an eye on our social media and the EFB website for more updates.
EFB is pleased to announce the re-election of Executive Committee Members Mrs Anca Vlad and Mr Jan Kornelis van Oord.
We thank them for all their work and welcome their continued support.
EFB is pleased to announce that we have a new sponsor, For Talents.
For Talents is a family-owned capital investment firm founded and owned by Matthieu Leclercq. Its purpose is to facilitate the successful handover of family businesses. To achieve this, For Talents buys minority stakes in medium-sized businesses controlled by families during the handover phase from one generation to the next and provides the support needed during the transfer.
As a family shareholder and trusted partner, For Talents assists the managers of family-controlled medium-sized businesses in completing the handover of their business, with an innovative market positioning:
A family investor that helps the family during the handover phases in order to maintain control over the shareholding:
- A minority investor that acts like a minority shareholder.
- Terms of investment that stipulate a right of first offer to the family rather than a third party.
The USP of For Talents is the combination of a financial investment offer and support for the shareholder family, managers and the company itself, during the handover process between two managers, via the signing of a support protocol.
At For Talents they believe that when a transfer is done properly and at the right time, it creates value.
For more information visit: https://fortalents.com/