UEAPME ( Union Européenne de l' Artisanat et des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises ) is an umbrella organization representing at European level the interests of craft, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs ) in the European Union.
The association founded in 1979, has its headquarters in Brussels and represents the employers' association at European level 81 member organizations. These are national cross-industry federations, European branch federations and other associate members who support the SMEs. Within the EU, UEAPME represents the interests of 8 million companies true with about 30 million employees across Europe, it represents 11 million enterprises with 50 million employees.
UEAPME is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization. The merger with EUROPMI in July 1999, she became the only pan-European corporate representation for crafts and SMEs. As a result of a cooperation agreement with the European industrial and employers 'association UNICE ( Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe) is a European social partner be negotiated.
The association sees itself as a "mouthpiece" of craft enterprises and SMEs in Europe. Among her main tasks and objectives:
- Perception and representation of the common interests of its members vis-à -vis the institutions of the EU and other international institutions
- Information of the members on all issues relevant to the European Union's policy
- Academic, technical and legal support to its members in all aspects of EU policy.
- Support for European integration and promotion of European cooperation.
- Realization of common tasks on behalf of its members and search for solutions to all the problems associated with the above objectives.
- Plenary session
- Board of Directors
President is since 1 January 2011 Loek Hermans, Secretary General until 2007 was the former German Bundestag member Hans -Werner Müller. His successor Italian Andrea Benassi was elected in November 2007.
The association is a member of the European Movement International.