In the spotlight
Support for refugees
The Directorate-General (DG) for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs has set up a forum under the European Cluster Collaboration Platform to support the delivery of humanitarian aid and to support Ukrainian refugees in EU countries. The Intelligent Cities Challenge is targeting the integration of displaced people from Ukraine, in particular entrepreneurs and those wishing to enter the labour market.
We have prepared draft guidelines to facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications of Ukrainian refugees and are working to assist in offering language and basic digital skills training.
Support for businesses
We are closely monitoring any adverse impacts felt by companies in EU countries resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as any policy action taken by EU countries to support those affected. Our Supply Chain Taskforce is collecting information from stakeholders (business associations) to understand the impact of the invasion and identify their needs.
We are working closely with the Directorate-General for Competition’s antitrust team on business-to-business information exchanges. Our input to the state aid temporary framework will provide additional support to the liquidity needs of companies, aid to the food industry and to industrial supply chains in strategic areas, among others.
The Enterprise Europe Network, in collaboration with the European Cluster Collaboration Platform, is helping both EU and Ukrainian SMEs overcome supply chain disruptions through its Supply Chain Resilience platform. It helps companies retain, re-structure or replace existing supply chains, as well as source raw materials, parts, components and/or (semi-)finished goods or services they need to keep production going.
Support for entrepreneurs
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme (EYE) is an exchange scheme that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their business. The programme is ready to support the participation of more Ukrainian entrepreneurs.
Contingency measures were taken to help the functioning of five EYE local organisations based in Ukraine to allow for a higher number of Ukrainian entrepreneurs to participate in the EYE by addressing their needs. There is currently enough available budget to complement the steady rise of interest by Ukrainians in the programme.
Looking long term, a new EYE call to establish a new network of EYE intermediary organisations under the Single Market Programme was launched in March 2022, with provisions to increase the number of Ukrainian entrepreneurs in the programme.
The single market
We are closely analysing national measures, such as export restrictions on products (agri-food, fuels etc.), taken as a consequence of the war and the ensuing effects or fears of shortages. We also continuously monitor national measures undertaken by EU countries to address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
We are working closely with the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union to deliver information to businesses in Europe.
Actions in progress
Work is ongoing in a number of areas, including, but not limited to
- finding solutions for critical raw materials and industrial inputs
- reducing dependency on Russian gas and accelerating switch to renewables
- the availability and affordability of fertilizers
- speeding up the process of public procurement for refugee support; exclusion of Russian and Belarus
- export credits, trade finance and investment guarantees