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SBA experiences in the USA and EU

EESC opinion: SBA experiences in the USA and EU

Key points

The SBA has to be upgraded to a more binding form, with a more ambitious approach. The EESC recommends that:

  • a special annual Competitiveness Council for SMEs and the SBA be organised at EU level;
  • the Council's High Level Group for Competitiveness and Growth should review progress on national actions for implementing SBA priorities and reflect on additional measures at EU level;
  • the European SME Envoy Network be upgraded by raising the level of participants to the directors-general of the Ministries of the Economy. This would ensure stronger and better coordination between the EU and the Member States.

In addition:

  • the European Court of Auditors should be encouraged to publish regular reports on the functioning of relevant SME programmes and measures;
  • an independent office within the Commission should deal with internal governance;
  • the system of national and local SBA implementation plans (see 4.3.3) has to be improved and complemented by systematic use of scoreboards;
  • more use should be made of indicative targets (to increase SME involvement in public procurement) and of binding targets regarding R&D programmes.

Related EESC opinions:

 

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Background document