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).