The MobiliseSME programme comes to a successful end after its Final Conference with 110% of its objectives achieved
Last Tuesday 14th February, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organised the conference “SMEs’ Collaborations and Employee Mobility in the European Single Market”, the final event of the European programme MobiliseSME, coordinated by the Chamber in collaboration with Fundación Equipo Humano and co-funded by the European Union.
The President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, Pablo López-Álvarez, opened the conference and underlined that for the Chamber “it has been an honour to coordinate the programme during its 32 months of duration”.
In the same vein, he mentioned that between 80% and 90% of the Chamber’s members are SMEs, companies that benefit especially from mobility programmes such as MobiliseSME.
Then, the Deputy Head Labour Mobility, Public Employment Services at DG EMPL, Lambert Kleinmann, took the podium and reviewed data on the EU’s job mobility schemes, highlighting that companies that participate in these exchanges “do not regret doing so”.
Crispin Waymouth, Deputy Head of Industrial Forum, Alliances and Clusters at DG GROW, gave a historical review of the European Single Market, stressing that on its 30th anniversary “it is more salient than ever”, given the circumstances of recent years such as the pandemic or the war in Ukraine.
The second part of the event consisted of a round table with the participation of representatives of the project coordination (the project manager Noelia Sánchez on behalf of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg and the project manager José Enrique Val on behalf of Fundación Equipo Humano) and participating companies (Cecilia Sobral, CEO of SPACE-A Food, and Carlos Gil, CEO of Yepso!).
Among the most relevant data left by MobiliseSME, as detailed by Val, it is worth highlighting that the consortium has closed the project after having achieved 110% of the planned objectives and after having allowed 286 SMEs to obtain funding for labour exchanges.
Noelia Sánchez stressed the importance of projects such as MobiliseSME, which provide direct support to participating companies and employees, providing life-changing experiences. In this regard, she recalled that MobiliseSME has provided around 940,000 euros in funding for the mobility of employees, managers or owners of SMEs.
As for the participating companies, on behalf of Yepso! Carlos Gil said that MobiliseSME has enabled the company to tackle its internationalisation and the opening of its European service, while Cecilia Sobral highlighted the virtues of welcoming employees from other cultures into her company, SPACE-A Food.
In the final part of the event, the future challenges of the European Single Market were discussed. The Deputy Head Economist at DG GROW, Paolo Pasimeni, who joined the round table for this last section, considered that the Single Market is an unfinished project and that much remains to be done: “We are not even halfway to have it”.
To close the conference, Kleinmann again took the floor to congratulate both the programme coordinators and the participants for “making better” the Commission-funded project. After the event, attendees enjoyed a networking lunch in a relaxed atmosphere.
As a final point of the programme, on Wednesday 15th March, the Chamber hosted the final meeting of the MobiliseSME consortium, where the members were able to take stock of the 32 months of the project. They were also visited by Radosław Owczarzak, European Commission Policy Officer for the project, who congratulated the consortium on the results achieved.