This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mrs Mona Herter, Secretary General of the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises (JADE). The article is published in view of the famous Generations Club of JADE, which is taking place today in Brussels. JADE is a cordial partner of The European Sting. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.
The free trade agreement between Europe and the USA is a highly controversial topic. Supporters of the agreement see it as the opportunity for Europe’s SME’s and entrepreneurs to enter the pitch together with EU’s big brother USA. Opponents feel threats for the European security and health also they see public interests in danger to be disrespected and legislation processes of European governments bypassed by the interests of big corporations.
Especially Small and Medium Size Enterprises as well as Start-ups would be impacted by this danger but also positively by the opportunities that come with it. In the European Union, over 20 million companies in the EU are SMEs and they provide two-thirds of all private sector jobs. Naturally they have a tremendous capacity to create new employment. 85% of net new jobs between 2002 and 2010 were created by SMEs. By basically eliminating the trade barriers and tariffs caused by minimal legislative adoptions thanks to T-TIP, SME’s and start-ups – the drivers of innovation in Europe- would be able to extensively expand into the US market. However, with the newest change of course in the government of the United States, these attempts might be suspended.
If we take a step back and reflect about why the European Commission is negotiating this agreement, we understand that all these efforts are done to foster collaboration across borders, which should bring the two biggest economic powers of the world closer together and engage the global mind set. In addition, the approximation of the two powers is crucial to remain competitive as other powers are growing. This does not only apply collaboration in terms of trade but also means the exchange of knowledge, ideas and intercultural thoughts. The latter are essential when it comes to entrepreneurship, especially among young people – only the synergies of collaboration are enabling us to achieve big goals, to learn and succeed. Nowadays, when starting a business of whatever nature, it is inevitable to preconceive an international orientation, not least thanks to a digitalized world with industry 4.0 and the internet 2.0.
Looking at Junior Entrepreneurs who are future Intra- and Entrepreneurs, a global facilitation for export and electronic commerce while reaffirming their intellectual property rights, will be a huge opportunity. European Junior Entrepreneurs are actually taking the lead and are in a pro-active stage of joining their forces with American Junior Entrepreneurs, which can be taken as a good example by the big players.
With accepting CETA we have done one step towards this approach, whether T-TIP will be moved forward or not – the important fact is the idea behind it, which is the positive impact on society caused by collaboration. To quote the words of Phil Condit, former CEO of Boeing: “We are moving toward a global economy. One way of approaching that is to pull the covers over your head. Another is to say: It may be more complicated – but that’s the world I am going to live in, I might as well be good at it.” So this means for the Entrepreneurs of tomorrow: If we take the lead to co-create our future, it will be global and it will be collaborative.
 Brochure „T-TIP opportunities for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises“ found in https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/reports-and-publications/2015/t-tip-opportunities-small-and
About the author
Ms. Mona Herter is the current Secretary General of JADE – the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises. She is direction the departments Communication, Enlargement, International Relations and Training of the organization.
After her graduation as a Bachelor of Engineering in Textile Technology and Management, she worked for an international Sports- and Fashion corporation. At the moment she is finishing her Master of Science in Management Engineering as a double degree modality at UPC BarcelonaTech (Spain) and Politècnico di Torino (Italy).