Central Eastern Europe –
SMEs between Transition, War
and Global Competition

On Tuesday, 13th September 2022, SME Connect, Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers (ZPP) and European Enterprise Alliance (EEA) were hosting the roundtable lunch on: “CEE – SMEs between Transition, War and Global Competition”.  The discussion took place in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and was joined by Andrzej HALICKI MEP (Poland), Mr. Ivan ŠTEFANEC MEP (Slovakia), Martina DLABAJOVÁ MEP (Czechia),  Inese VAIDERE MEP (Latvia) and Radan KANEV MEP (Bulgaria) as well as by other high-level stakeholders representing CEE EU member states. The discussion focused on the  following issues:

  • Chances and obstacles of SMEs through the green and digital transition
  • Macro-economic trends of SME development in Central and Eastern European countries
  • The impact of the Russian agression against Ukraine, the actual energy crisis, and SME economic recovery  after COVID-19
  • Key barriers for SMEs when facing external environment

“SMEs must be in the core of our interest and entrepreneurs have to be assured, that we are advocating for their interest during current difficult time. ” – Ivan ŠTEFANEC MEP


“Most of the measures will be essential to the survival of many SMEs. However, it will be important that short-term subsidies do not distract from or delay longer-term transitions. In the EU, National Recovery and Resilience Plans have been developed which should help support longer-term SMEs’ investment needs, in particular to support their energy transition. Policy makers will need to monitor short-term measures closely to ensure they work to support, rather than counteract, longer-term objectives.” – Andrzej HALICKI MEP