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Klaus-Heiner Röhl IW-Analyse No. 116 14. June 2017 European SME Policy

The European Union policy and regulation influence the almost 23 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and similarly structured larger companies in the 28 member countries in many different ways. So far, however, attempts at a distinct EU SME policy have remained fragmentary.

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European SME Policy
Klaus-Heiner Röhl IW-Analyse No. 116 14. June 2017

European SME Policy

IW-Analyse

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The European Union policy and regulation influence the almost 23 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and similarly structured larger companies in the 28 member countries in many different ways. So far, however, attempts at a distinct EU SME policy have remained fragmentary.

Though the Small Business Act of 2008 drew attention to the needs of SMEs, it applies primarily to start-ups and small enterprises. The subsequent European economic crisis brought start-ups and established SMEs further into the focus of policymakers in Brussels, who entertained great hopes for them as creators of new jobs. Nevertheless, a glance at the still high agricultural spending in the EU budget shows only too clearly how far off the radar the interests of SMEs continue to be. Particularly problematic is the EU’s insistence on regarding larger family businesses with at least 250 employees or 50 million euros in turnover as large companies and treating them like large corporations. A systematic EU SME policy would reduce the burden of red tape and include family businesses which have outgrown the EU’s definition of an SME. Moreover, EU policymakers should recognise the potential role of small and medium-sized manufacturing companies in fulfilling their aim of expanding manufacturing industry in Europe by 2020.

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European SME Policy
Klaus-Heiner Röhl IW-Analyse No. 116 14. June 2017

Klaus-Heiner Röhl: Europäische Mittelstandspolitik – Eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme

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