The first official visit was held by the President of UEAPME, Ulrike Rabmer-Koeller at the offices of the General Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Retailers of Greece in Athens, as a follow-up to her initiative – following her recent election to the highest post, – to strengthen the links between European small and medium-sized enterprise organizations, The exchange of views on the major challenges facing small businesses in Europe and the country. The President of UEAPME and the Head of the Commercial Department of the Austrian Embassy welcomed the President of GSEVEE G. Kavathas and General Secretary G. Kourasis, who led her to the structures of GSEVEE (IME and KEK) and developed the strategy of the organization in National and European level.
At the following working meeting, the President of GSEVEE set out the core of the issues that concern the Confederation at the current juncture, analyzed the economic environment and the context
Of the rigid economic policy that has been put in place and called on UEAPME to steadily develop a network of co-operation and joint interventions to achieve better representation in the European institutions and more favorable treatment for the promotion of European and national SME policies. Particular mention was made of the need to create new financing tools and to increase liquidity and market investment. The meeting was attended by UEAPME Vice President Mr. D. Assimakopoulos and the GSEVEE representative at the EESC, Mr. Panagiotis Gopas, who pointed out the European dimension of the cooperation of organizations for the good of the member countries and the European Union.
The President, Ms. Rabmer-Koeller put the focus of the debate on the need to strengthen the role and active participation of UEAPME in the European decision-making centers and showed particular interest in the development and deepening of research synergies with FIE GSEVEE as well as actions in the field of training and employment promotion . The Austrian Embassy’s commercial department has announced its intention to promote initiatives to strengthen trade links and value chains among small and medium-sized businesses in Greece and Austria. The interlocutors agreed that the European vision and the acquis should be preserved, and as the European Union is the common field of action of citizens and businesses, they should all work together towards the reorientation and deepening of European policies for the benefit of the European Society and economy.