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.
Topics: EU-Japan FTA: state of play; Better access to the EU market motivates economic reforms in Eastern Partnership countries;
What Future for the EU's relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of countries post 2020?; Factors for Growth in the EU
To enable businesses to perform this role, the EU must provide conditions that make European businesses more competitive, encourage entrepreneurship and ensure favourable conditions for them to innovate, invest, operate and trade. This calls for a business environment that helps prepare for the future, is based on open markets and fair competition and provides enabling and supportive conditions for doing business
Over the years, European value chains have become increasingly relevant to employment in the EU. While research on industrial value chains is broadly covered in recent years, the effects of value-chains in European service sectors still needs to be quantified. Especially the impact of cross border services in the EU need further coverage. This study tries to fill this gap by quantifying the number of employees dependent on the exports of services to other member states.
The EU is highly dependent on energy resources. More than a half of EU energy consumption is linked to imports. Increasing instability in the Middle East together with the deterioration of EU-Russia relations mean that energy security will remain at the top of the EU's agenda in the coming years. How can we achieve a true energy union? How can interconnectivity be increased between Member States? What should the ideal energy mix look like and how can energy efficiency be increased within the EU? The publication summarises the debate that seeks answers to these questions.
A competitive and sustainable economy with a high level of employment is the basis for the European economic and social model which also contributes to better economic and social convergence. Enhancing productivity based on skills and knowledge is the only sound recipe for maintaining the well-being of European societies. The social dimension of Europe cannot be strengthened without economic growth and a well-functioning internal market. This document summarises the views of the Employers' Group on the future of social policies in the EU.
European industry is a crucial part of the EU economy. Manufacturing still accounts for 80% of EU exports and ¼ of its employment. The goal of increasing manufacturing industry's share of EU GDP to 20% is still some way off. It currently sits at 15.1%. In order to increase this share, European industrial policy must be the focus of EU policy makers. The publication summarises a discussion entitled "Reinforcing European industrial competitiveness" organised by the EESC Employers' Group in November 2014 in Rome, Italy.
This Study brings light to the economic factors that contribute to sustainable growth in the European Union (EU) and investigates the political feasibility of economic reforms enhancing such factors. It also explores the aspects influencing competitiveness and fostering convergence and cohesion at EU and Member State levels.
Transition to a circular economy is a must if we are to protect our planet, but also if we are to increase the competitiveness of European industry. This is a long-term process that will require numerous initiatives at European, national and regional level. Companies see the circular economy as an opportunity. "Going green" is beneficial not only for the environment, but also for businesses, providing real savings in terms of raw materials, water and energy.