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SMEs are the backbone of the EU economy and have been placed in the focus of European policy following the adoption of the Small Business Act in 2008. This study makes a comprehensive overview of EU support initiatives for SMEs in the period 2007-2015 with the aim to assess the effectiveness of EU SME policies – both in terms of their formulation and implementation. On the basis of a literature review and five case studies with SME representatives in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy and Hungary, this study tries to identify progress made along the key priority areas of EU SME policies: burden reduction; promotion of entrepreneurship; access to markets and internationalization; access to finance; competitiveness and innovation and key support networks in order to outline challenges that still impede SMEs’ growth. The results demonstrate that despite the numerous initiatives launched, EU SME policies could still benefit from a shift towards diversification of support measures, simplification of applicable rules and optimization of communication and collaboration with SMEs and SME organizations. This will enable the addressing of SMEs’ heterogeneity and diverse needs in an effective manner. The Study draws conclusions about challenges on the level of the policy priority areas and recommendations about the ways the effectiveness of the policies can be improved.

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Results 1 to 10 out of 385.

  • Published In: 2017
    224 pages
    Study on the assessment of the effectiveness of the EU SME policies 2007-2015

    SMEs are the backbone of the EU economy and have been placed in the focus of European policy following the adoption of the Small Business Act in 2008. This study makes a comprehensive overview of EU support initiatives for SMEs in the period 2007-2015 with the aim to assess the effectiveness of EU SME policies – both in terms of their formulation and implementation. On the basis of a literature review and five case studies with SME representatives in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy and Hungary, this study tries to identify progress made along the key priority areas of EU SME policies: burden reduction; promotion of entrepreneurship; access to markets and internationalization; access to finance; competitiveness and innovation and key support networks in order to outline challenges that still impede SMEs’ growth. The results demonstrate that despite the numerous initiatives launched, EU SME policies could still benefit from a shift towards diversification of support measures, simplification of applicable rules and optimization of communication and collaboration with SMEs and SME organizations. This will enable the addressing of SMEs’ heterogeneity and diverse needs in an effective manner. The Study draws conclusions about challenges on the level of the policy priority areas and recommendations about the ways the effectiveness of the policies can be improved.

  • Published In: 2017
    76 pages
    Impact of digitalization and the on-demand economy on labour markets and the consequences for employment and industrial relations

    Digitalisation is transforming business landscapes and the world of work, and redefining the boundaries of production, consumption and distribution. This has created tremendous opportunities, as new products, processes and techniques have emerged, but has also created threats, as new ways of employment pose new challenges to employers and employees. The overall consequences on labour markets are, however, still highly uncertain, which is reflected in the wide variation in the outcomes of the existing research. The initial government responses appear to be reactive rather than proactive, and targeted towards mitigating the side effects of digitalisation instead of aiming to reap its potential benefits.

    This study focuses on the impact of digitalisation and the on-demand economy on employment and industrial relations. Traditional businesses and industries as well as new forms of work in the on-demand economy are assessed. For both, job creation and destruction, interaction with customers and workers/employees, labour relations in terms of both the organisation of work and industrial relations as well as government responses, with a specific focus on labour conditions, taxation and social security, are discussed. The study emphasises in particular aspects relevant to employers.

     

     

     

  • Published In: 2017
    4 pages
    Does the EU encourage private sector investment?

    The publication is a summary of the conference "Does the EU encourage private sector investment" that took place on 11 May 2017 in Valletta, Malta. The conference was jointly organised by the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee and all major Maltese employers' organisations: Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, Malta Employers' Association (MEA), Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) and Malta Chamber of SMEs (GRTU).

  • Published In: 2017
    56 pages
    Europe’s cooperative banking models

    This study describes the situation of and prospects for cooperative banking in the European context, with reference to the models representing the sector in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy, since those countries have the largest institutions and the traditions of longest standing.

  • Published In: 2017
    16 pages
    The European Economic and Social Committee's contribution to the Commission's 2018 work programme

    The EESC adopted its contribution to the European Commission's 2018 Work Programme on 5 July 2017. In this contribution, the EESC calls on the Commission to adopt sustainable development as an overarching approach to its work programme, with reference to the three "pillars" of sustainability: i) strengthening the economic foundations of Europe; ii) fostering its social dimension; and iii) facilitating the transition towards a low-carbon and circular economy. To that end, the EESC makes detailed recommendations and proposals for action structured around six priority policy areas: further development of the single market; promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation and industrial development; the social dimension of the EU; focusing public finances on sustainable growth, innovation, employment and cohesion; protecting Europeans against security threats; and the development of a structured civil dialogue.

  • Published In: 2017
    36 pages
    The Integrated Report 2017: Organised Civil Society in the European Semester

    This integrated report assembles inputs from the national Economic and Social Councils (and the Liaison Group, an NGO umbrella organization) and gives an overview of the involvement of organized civil society in the European Semester, highlighting the different ways in which organized civil society interacts with governments in the framework of the European Semester. The purpose is to make the Semester more democratic and more efficient, by identifying problem areas and disseminating best practices across the entire European Union.

  • Published In: 2017
    20 pages
    The EESC priorities during the Estonian Presidency. July – December 2017

    In the second half of 2017, Estonia will take on the presidency of the EU Council for the first time.

    Unarguably, Europe is currently facing complex internal and external challenges, including the start of the negotiations regarding the UK’s exit from the EU. Among other things, slow growth and persistently high unemployment in many Member States, the ongoing migrant and refugee flows and heightened terrorism threats are spreading uncertainty, making people susceptible to populist movements. No country has a magic wand to resolve such economic and political pressures during its six-month Presidency. However, Estonia will work hard to move things forward in a positive direction that benefits both the Member States and the Union.

    This brochure presents the priorities of the European Economic and Social Committee, voice of the European civil society, during the Estonian Presidency.

  • Published In: 2017
    2 pages
    Open Day 2017 at the EESC – Summary report

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) opened its doors to the general public on Sunday 17 May, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

    This year, the EESC focused on the future of  Europe – while commemorating the  60th anniversary  of the Treaty of Rome – and talked about what the EU has achieved over the last 60 years: benefits of the citizens including free movement, single currency, research and innovations, environment, etc. and challenges for the future.

    The Committee showcased its work on economic and social policy for the European Union, its work on sustainable development and its efforts to support participatory democracy in Europe and throughout the world.

  • Published In: 2017
    6 pages
    Estonian colours

    This publication is part of a series of catalogues published in the context of the exhibitions organized by the EESC.

  • Published In: 2017
    86 pages
    Review of Member States' reports on the implementation of the European Commission Decision on the provision of State aid to the provision of services of general economic interest

    This study shows that the Almunia package has led to substantial improvements in clarity and legal certainty as regards the provision of SGEIs and state aid. It has achieved the right balance between the need to foster and support SGEIs and the objective of preventing potential distortions in competition.

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