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 aim of this report is to assess the whole issue of self-regulation and co-regulation in the context of the European Union and think about, in particular, what qualitative criteria are needed for a reliable and effective implementation of these participatory standard-setting instruments, which illustrate the role that civil society can actually play in the legislative process.