Peter Östman: SME's have to be at the centre of economic policy

Small and medium sized enterprises (SME's) are the main employer in almost all European nations and they are the best guarantee for long-term employment. SME's create the majority of job opportunities in Europe, nearly 4 million each year. We need to encourage entrepreneurship and involve SME's when making economic policy.

This was one of the key messages delivered today by ECPM President Peter Östman in a joint event with Hrast in Zagreb, Croatia. Östman also referred to the EU's "Small Business Act" initiative  that needs to get much more emphasis when preparing new initiatives and EU-regulations.

Östman also commented on the economic crisis: “it is a moral crisis, a crisis of trust and a crisis of ownership. The greed in the financial capital markets has been a major cause of this”.

Changing direction
In his speech the ECPM President urges for a change in direction: “Our economy cannot exist independently from people and culture. We cannot put our economy in a separate box. Our economy is a whole that is based on relations and improves if these relations are just and fair.” A relational approach towards the economy is the direction that ECPM envisions for the economies of Europe.

“It is time for the relational paradigm that leads to a more inclusive approach in which the dignity of the human being, our common well being and wise stewardship of resources are seen as equally important as competitiveness and efficiency. Not an economy of numbers but an economy of people.” This was one of the final remarks that Östman made in a well-attended conference in the heart of Zagreb.

The conference was organized by ECPM Hrast. Party leader and candidate for the European elections in Croatia, Ladislav Ilčić also took part in the conference.

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