The MED MSME programme is committed to inspiring dialogue and shared experiences by engaging all major partners and key stakeholders from the private and public sector in any decision affecting MSMEs regionally and in their countries. As part of this commitment, the Programme gathered over 50 South Neighbourhood public and private sector decision makers, under the auspices of DG NEAR, at the Union for the Mediterranean (Barcelona) for a two-day seminar aimed at scoping the Programme’s 2020 Work Plan through dialogue. Ms. Ingrid Schwaiger, Deputy Head of Unit of the Regional Programmes Neighbourhood South at the European Commission DG NEAR, opened the session and reasserted that “Contributing to an enabling environment for MSMEs in the Southern Neighbourhood constitutes a core pillar of the EU Private Sector Development policy”.
The Programme presented and discussed more than 20 inspiring EU and international practices on Access to Finance and Internationalization of the Small Business Act (SBA) for Europe that provides the Programme’s methodological framework. The dialogue resulted in a consensus on two focal areas for 2020: alternative finance, including fintech, and exports, either direct or through the integration of SMEs into value chains.
These two days of intense dialogue with the public and private sector representatives allowed the Programme to develop its 2020 Annual Work Plan around five specific results (1) Adapting policies and regulations to MSMEs’ needs; (2) Promoting administrative simplification; (3) Adapting the offer of MSME (alternative) finance; (4) Supporting a regional platform raising awareness on existing supports and enhancing South-South dialogue; and (5) Raising awareness on the EU Initiative for Financial Inclusion.