Small and medium sized enterprises

Related Theme: Enterprises and Industry

The crucial contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises to securing Europe's economic recovery is already well acknowledged. SMEs form the backbone of the EU economy, with some 21 million small firms making up 98% of EU businesses, and employing 87 million people.

The European Economic and Social Committee is actively pushing the EU institutions and Member States to give more support to this potentially lively and innovative sector.

The EESC has adopted a number of opinions on SMEs. Recently, these have covered social entrepreneurship and social enterprise, the SBA review (2011), access to finance, the COSME programme, SMEs and global opportunities (2012), as well as smart regulation (2013).


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  • Published In: 2017
    32 pages
    TEN Section Report on the “Smart Cities” Project

    The "Smart Cities" project is a follow-up to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) own-initiative opinion on smart cities as a driver of a new European industrial policy, adopted in July 2015.

  • Published In: 2017
    32 pages
    TEN Section Report on the “Smart Islands” Project

    The EESC "Smart Islands" project is based on the own-initiative of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on Smart islands TEN/558.

  • Published In: 2015
    4 pages
    The impact of TTIP in Malta: benefits and challenges - Summary of the debate that took place in Malta on the 9 March 2015

    The business sector in Europe believes a deep and comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) can further enhance this economic relationship and ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits of trade and investment ties more fully.

    The document is a summary of the discussion on the Impact of the TTIP in Malta, which took place in Valletta, Malta on 9 March 2015. The meeting was organised together with the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.

  • Published In: 2014
    4 pages
    Access to EU finance for SMEs - what can we learn from Greece?

    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the EU economy. According to Commission estimates, the overall contribution of SMEs to EU-27 value added was more than 57% (EUR 3.4 trillion) in 2012. Although the role of SMEs in the EU economy is crucial and their well being should be a priority for European policymakers, they struggle with access to finance, especially in the countries severely hit by the crisis. The Greek experience can and should be taken as a case study and conclusions drawn on how to improve the system for the future. The publication summarises the discussion on access to finance for SMEs that took place in April 2014 during the extraordinary meeting of the Employers' Group in Kyllini, Greece.

  • Published In: 2014
    12 pages
    10th anniversary of EU enlargement

    In 2004 the European Union experienced its biggest enlargement so far, welcoming 10 new Member States. A decade later, members of the Employers' Group representing employers' organisations from these countries summarise the changes that have taken place thanks to accession to the EU.


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