Angelika Niebler – focus on SMEs

Angelika Niebler is Chairwoman of the CSU European Group and Deputy Chairwoman of the CDU/CSU Group in the European Parliament.

“If we want to hold our own in the world, we can only do so as a strong, European community,” according to Angelika Niebler, Chair of the CSU European Group and Deputy Chair of the CDU/CSU Group in the European Parliament. Niebler is particularly committed to the interests of the business locations of Upper Bavaria and Munich. In 2019, she delivered support for companies in difficulties but with good prospects: “With the directive on preventive restructuring, we have provided a set of instruments that will make it easier for companies to reorganize and thus avoid insolvency.”

Niebler has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999. Before that, Niebler was active in local politics: Infected by her husband’s enthusiasm for politics, she also joined the Junge Union, the Women’s Union, and the CSU in 1994 and eventually ran successfully for the district council of the Ebersberg district: “With love into municipal office,” Niebler says, laughing. Her interest in Europe arose during her student days: “During my law studies, I spent two semesters at the University of Geneva. There I learned how important it is to think outside the box. After graduating, I then took part in the ‘European Young Lawyers Course’ at the University of Edinburgh.”

Since she was active in local politics and at the same time familiar with European issues, she was asked by party colleagues whether she could imagine running for the European Parliament: “When an opportunity like this arises, you have to grab it!”

Equal opportunities are not a matter of course

Niebler is convinced that Europe needs a strong industrial base to maintain its prosperity. Above all, she wants to work to ensure that SMEs have fair competitive conditions: “Many information and documentation obligations, high taxation, the high energy prices and the lack of skilled workers are a burden on our SMEs. One example is the EU VAT reform, according to which the different VAT rates must be shown for online trade starting at €10,000. This entails an enormous administrative burden. We must also not overburden our SMEs with the new version of sustainability reporting.”

The fact that something doesn’t seem easy at first glance hasn’t bothered the politician in the past: The topic of equal opportunities is particularly important to Niebler, who has managed to push through the women’s quota of 40 percent in the CSU’s state and district executive committees: “A lot has happened at the European level, too, but women still have a harder time gaining a foothold. Equality of opportunity is not a foregone conclusion. That’s why I will continue to stand up for women.” A Europe-wide women’s quota on supervisory boards of large companies of 40 percent is also currently being discussed in the European Parliament. Alina Jensen


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