Madam President, allow me on behalf of the S&D Group to thank our colleague Angelika Niebler for her great report on family businesses, which are an important and vital element in the functioning of the European economy, especially in the most remote and peripheral areas of the EU.

For the S&D Group it is particularly important that we stress with this report the significance of size when we are talking about family businesses, and we would like to underscore the social role that family businesses play in the European economy – on the path to recovery of course – and also the necessary standards for those working in family businesses, the quality of jobs and the need for everyone to have social insurance and a pension plan. We also want to ensure that we keep the references in this report to the balance between genders, the importance of smoothing transfers of ownership and management from generation to generation, and the tax burden.

Last but not least, we expect the Commission to take the initiative to strengthen the framework in which family businesses operate in the EU today, and to improve their access to information, educational programmes and financial resources.