Published: Thu, 09 July 2020
The European People’s Party (EPP) Group in the European Parliament has appointed Ireland South MEP, Sean Kelly, to three important policy positions aimed at securing EU support to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) for the COVID-19 recovery.
MEP Kelly will lead discussions in the Parliament’s Industry Committee on the EUR 300 billion Solvency Support Instrument, while returning to his previous role on the InvestEU Programme, which is expected to mobilise EUR 1 trillion in investments, following a revised proposal as part of the EU’s Recovery Package.
Additionally, in the Parliament’s International Trade Committee, Mr. Kelly will lead discussions on the EU’s SME Strategy.
Speaking from Brussels today (Wednesday), Mr. Kelly made the following comments:
“Our SMEs are the backbone of our economy, accounting for more than 70% of Irish jobs and more than 99% of our enterprises. These companies will be central to the success of our post-pandemic recovery. For this reason, I am delighted to have the opportunity to work for a fair deal for Irish businesses in these pivotal policy discussions.
“We must support Irish SMEs at this difficult time and ensure they are kept afloat. The EU Solvency Support Instrument comes at a crucial time, will target otherwise viable companies, and provide them with the needed capital to continue operating. We must now move quickly and get these funds to our businesses by this autumn.
“At the same time we need to bridge the investment gap both in Ireland and across the EU by putting our ambitious EU Investment plan – InvestEU – into action, and returning our economy to a position of growth. This programme will drive up to EUR 1 trillion in investment into our key sectors, create jobs at a time when they are most needed, and help us transition to a green, sustainable and digital economy.
“As EPP Group rapporteur for both instruments, I will work with our SMEs to ensure that Irish business is in a position to be a major beneficiary of this EU level financial support.
“The third element to this strategy is creating the conditions for our SMEs to be successful. Frictionless international trade provides our SMEs with the necessary scale and experience to export beyond the borders of the EU and access new markets. Delivering an outward-looking EU trade policy will improve our SMEs’ performance, enhance their competitiveness and reinforce sustainable growth.
“The months ahead are critical for the survival of many of our small businesses, and I will work hard to ensure these policies are operational as quickly as possible”, concluded MEP Kelly, leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament.