• At hub:berlin, DIGITALEUROPE’s Director-General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl recalled the importance to think big and to fix market fragmentation in order to enable European SMEs to scale up

    1 December 2017During the event organised by bitkom on 28 November, Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl moderated a discussion with the CEO & Chairman of the executive board for Euronext, Stéphane Boujnah, and with TWINO’s platform lead, Jegenijs Kazanins. Together they explored the principal factors hampering the growth of companies in Europe.


    Europe has already gone a long way

    Everyone agrees, Europe does not lack talents. What is more, European’s startup founders went through a critical mindset change in the last decades. Today, people no longer yearn to join a corporate work environment. Instead, they crave to work in small structure and develop their own business. Finally, capital is not anymore a limiting factor for European SMEs.

    So why is it still so hard for European businesses to grow?

    The first issue stressed by Euronext’s CEO is that many European founders still lack confidence. When presented with a significant Merger & Acquisition or a discounted Initial Public Offering, too many companies get scared and go with the big numbers. EU Founders need to think big. 

    But more importantly, the Single Market is still too fragmented to allow companies to scale their business efficiently. Without greater harmonisation on simple things, such as securitization or bankruptcy law, SMEs will continue to favour a small national market to a large European one.  

    What should Brussels do about it?

    The real mindset shift needs to happen at the level of the European Commission. When discussing innovation, business growth, and digitalisation, the most critical element is speed. And for as long as speed is not a KPI for the Commission, Europe will continue to lag behind. 

    Fixing the Single Market is a hard task, but as Stéphane Boujnah highlights “we have done much more complicated things, killing the rents of protected industries and services was a big thing, building a single currency was a big thing”. If we want to harmonise the European market and build a common European Stock, we can make it happen “with the right level of energy and leadership”.


    For more information, contact: 

    Lionel Sola
    Director of Communications and Political Outreach

    Yann Finger
    Intelligence Officer


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