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.
This report provides a study of the retail sector, which is one of the biggest in Europe in terms of the number of enterprises active and individuals employed. The study aims to provide practical insights on revitalising small retailers in urban and rural areas. The underlying objective is achieved through identifying the main trends, challenges and opportunities faced by small retailers, and outlining what types of good practices have been put into place to support these enterprises in city-centres, including highlights on the situation of small retailers located in rural areas.
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.
Inaugural speech by President Luca JAHIER at the international conference: 'Towards a more effective Europe 2020: civil society's proposals for boosting social inclusion and competitiveness in Europe', held in Rome on 4 & 5 December 2014.