Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home topics SMEs SMEs Guides
Document Actions

SMEs Guides

Up one level
Guides on the EU Enterprise policy for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
European Retail Action Plan and Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain by EUbusiness — last modified 31 January 2013, 18:15 CET
The European Commission has adopted a European Retail Action Plan and a Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain. The retail and wholesale services sector is seen as one of the most important in the EU economy and should play an important part in stimulating growth and job creation under the Europe 2020 strategy. It accounts for 11% of EU GDP and 29% of European SMEs and employs nearly 33 million people, offering job opportunities in particular for young people, women and people with lower skill levels or qualifications. However, a number of barriers remain that hinder the smooth functioning of cross-border sourcing, consumer access to cross-border retail services and market entry for retailers.
Entrepreneurship Action Plan by EUbusiness — last modified 09 January 2013, 13:48 CET
The Entrepreneurship Action Plan is a blueprint for decisive action to unleash Europe's entrepreneurial potential, to remove existing obstacles and to revolutionise the culture of entrepreneurship in Europe. Investments in changing the public perception of entrepreneurs, in entrepreneurship education and to support groups that are underrepresented among entrepreneurs are indispensable if we want to create enduring change. Only if a large number of Europeans recognise an entrepreneurial career as a rewarding and attractive option will entrepreneurial activity in Europe thrive in the long term.
New European approach to business failure and insolvency by EUbusiness — last modified 13 December 2012, 17:32 CET
Businesses hit by the economic crisis will be thrown a lifeline under a new proposal from the European Commission today to modernise Europe’s rules on cross-border business insolvency, helping to give otherwise viable businesses a ‘second chance’. The Commission is proposing to modernise the current rules on cross border insolvency which date from 2000. Benefiting from ten years of experience, the new rules will shift focus away from liquidation and develop a new approach to helping businesses overcome financial difficulties, while at the same time protecting the right of creditors to get their money back.
Action Plan on European company law and corporate governance by EUbusiness — last modified 12 December 2012, 17:09 CET
The European Commission has adopted an Action Plan outlining future initiatives in the areas of company law and corporate governance.
Single European Patent by EUbusiness — last modified 11 December 2012, 14:24 CET
EU inventors will soon be able to get a unitary patent at last. After over 30 years of talks, the European Parliament put its stamp to a new regime which will cut the cost of an EU patent by up to 80%, making it more competitive vis-à-vis the US and Japan. In the compromise deal with the Council endorsed by Parliament on 11 December 2012, MEPs cut costs for small firms and tailored the regime better to their needs.
2013 Annual Growth Survey by EUbusiness — last modified 29 November 2012, 00:25 CET
The European Commission on 28 November adopted the 2013 Annual Growth Survey (AGS), setting out five priorities designed to guide Member States through the crisis to renewed growth. The AGS kick-starts the European Semester for economic policy coordination, which ensures Member States align their budgetary and economic plans with the Stability and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 strategy.
Improved access to EU funds for European businesses, towns, regions and scientists: rules of application for the New Financial Regulation by EUbusiness — last modified 30 October 2012, 17:53 CET
Following the recent entry into force of the new Financial Regulation the European Commission has adopted new detailed Rules of application. The delivery of EU funds to businesses, NGOs, researchers, students, municipalities and other recipients will be improved as of 1 January 2013 thanks to simplified procedures. The new legislation increases transparency and introduces higher accountability for anyone dealing with EU finances. It includes wider possibilities to use lump sums and flat rates for smaller amounts, eliminates the need to fill in the same details every time you apply for EU funds and introduces on-line applications as well as many other new features.
SME Performance Review - guide by EUbusiness — last modified 16 October 2012, 14:18 CET
The European Commission on 15 October released results of the SME Performance Review 2012 report, together with fact sheets describing SMEs' progress in all EU Members States. Despite the challenging environment, SMEs stood their ground as the backbone of the European economy, accounting for more than 98% of all enterprises with some 20.7 million firms and more than 87 million people employees. The lion’s share (92.2%) of SMEs is represented by micro firms with fewer than ten employees. It is estimated that SMEs account for 67% of total employment and 58% of gross value added (GVA). Trends in Member States are increasingly divergent and there has yet to be a positive signal on the employment front. In this fragile situation, decisive policy action to tackle the factors that determine SME growth may tip the balance.
New industrial revolution communication by EUbusiness — last modified 10 October 2012, 17:42 CET
Europe needs to reverse the declining role of industry for the 21st century with the aim to deliver sustainable growth, create high-value job and solve societal challenge that we face. Immediate action should contribute to reverse the current downward trend from its current level of 15.6% of EU GDP to as much as 20% by 2020. Therefore the Commission proposes a number of priority actions to stimulate investments in new technologies, to improve the business environment, to access to markets and to finance, particularly for SMEs, and ensure that skills meet industry’s needs. Europe's industry is well placed to assume this role: Europe is a world-leader in many strategic sectors such as automotive, aeronautics, engineering, space, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Industry still accounts for 4/5 of Europe's exports and 80% of both Europe's exports and of private sector R&D investment comes from manufacturing. If confidence comes back, and with it new investments, Europe's industry can perform better and start growing again. This is the core message of a communication tabled by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani in Brussels today. The actions proposed by this Communication should also contribute to reduce competiveness gap across Member States and EU regions.
EU late payment campaign by EUbusiness — last modified 05 October 2012, 17:48 CET
Every year across Europe thousands of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) go bankrupt waiting for their invoices to be paid. Yet late payment of bills is often seen by many as a perfectly acceptable practice. To end this damaging culture of late payment in Europe, European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani launched today in Rome an information campaign across all 27 EU Member States and Croatia, to encourage speedy incorporation of the Late Payment Directive into national law, even before the absolute deadline on 16th March 2013.
European enterprise promotion awards 2012 by EUbusiness — last modified 04 October 2012, 16:11 CET
Fourteen projects have been shortlisted for the 2012 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). Over 402 projects competed in this year’s national competitions for a chance to enter. Slightly more than in 2011, the Awards also received entries from a record-breaking 30 European countries - all 27 EU Member States as well as Croatia, Serbia and Turkey. A high-level jury representing business, government and academia reviewed the 57 national winner entries and established a shortlist of 14 nominees in five categories. The winners for each of the five categories will be announced at the first ever SME Assembly on 15 November 2012 in Cyprus, to which all nominees will be invited. One project will also receive the prestigious Grand Jury Prize.
Single Market Act II: twelve priority actions for new growth by EUbusiness — last modified 03 October 2012, 18:28 CET
This year being the 20th anniversary of the Single Market, the European Commission on 3 October adopted Single Market Act II, putting forward twelve key actions for rapid adoption by the EU institutions. These actions are concentrated on four main drivers for growth, employment and confidence: a) integrated networks, b) cross border mobility of citizens and businesses, c) the digital economy, and d) actions that reinforce cohesion and consumer benefits.
The top 10 most burdensome legislative acts for SMEs - consultation by EUbusiness — last modified 02 October 2012, 19:27 CET
Complaints are often aired about the red tape created by European law. The European Commission says it wants to cut red tape; and that it can cut red tape. However, it admits there is a definite lack of concrete proposals to reduce this burden. With this in mind, the Commission is calling upon businesses: "Let us know what could be done better - we would like your ideas for reducing red tape!" — the leitmotif of a consultation launched today by the Commission. This consultation process for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and their representative organisations, will help to identify the top ten EU legislative acts considered most burdensome by micro-companies and SMEs. It will run until 21 December 2012, and once complete, the Commission will analyse the results and consider how situation for SMEs could be improved.
Design for Growth and Prosperity by EUbusiness — last modified 20 September 2012, 17:42 CET
In order to fully exploit the design's potential to boost innovation, growth and job creation, the European Commission has set up the European Design Innovation Initiative. Its policy recommendations - the report "Design for Growth and Prosperity" were presented to Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani at the European Design Innovation Summit in Helsinki, the World Design Capital in 2012.
Electronic identification, signatures and trust services - guide by EUbusiness — last modified 05 June 2012, 22:48 CET
The European Commission has proposed new rules to enable cross-border and secure electronic transactions in Europe. The proposed Regulation will ensure people and businesses can use their own national electronic identification schemes (e-IDs) to access public services in other EU countries where e-IDs are available. It also creates an internal market for e-Signatures and related online trust services across borders, by ensuring these services will work across borders and have the same legal status as traditional paper based processes. This will give full effect to the major potential savings of eProcurement. The proposal fully respects both existing national ID systems and the preferences of those Member States without national ID schemes. It allows countries with e-ID to opt-in or to remain outside of the European scheme. Once a Member State notifies that they wish to join the pan-European scheme, they must offer the same access to public services via e-ID that they offer to their own citizens.
Access to finance by Ina Dimireva — last modified 29 May 2012, 00:42 CET
A guide on the financial support available to businesses in Cyprus.
Doing business in Slovenia: Sustainability by Ina Dimireva — last modified 17 May 2012, 01:25 CET
The Slovenian Development Strategy is the document that provides businesses with guidance on how to become more sustainable.
Doing business in Portugal: Environmental rules by Ina Dimireva — last modified 01 May 2012, 16:34 CET
Businesses in Portugal are obliged to comply with certain environmental legislation in order to be able to operate.
Doing business in Portugal: Staff welfare by Ina Dimireva — last modified 01 May 2012, 15:58 CET
The Portuguese Labour Code defines the workplace rules applicable to the employees of a business.
Doing business in Luxembourg: Sustainability by Ina Dimireva — last modified 01 May 2012, 23:00 CET
Even though legislation in Luxembourg does not oblige businesses to adopt sustainability practices, the government gives advice on how improving companies' corporate social responsibility can be beneficial for them.