you're reading...
Economic and Social Policies, PUBLICATIONS

Barriers to SME growth in Europe

Written by Marcin Szczepański,

Flag of Europe in a stack of coins

© eyegelb / Fotolia

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which represent 99% of all businesses in the EU, play a pivotal role in its economy. Nevertheless, in comparison to larger firms, they often face significant obstacles – internal, administrative and financial – which affect them disproportionately.

SMEs have been affected negatively by the economic crisis, which is manifested in a reduction in the sector’s employment figures. The financial and sovereign debt crises have also had a negative impact on the financing of SMEs, especially in the hardest-hit countries. Perhaps unsurprisingly, important differences exist in access to finance both within the euro area and between the ‘old’ (EU-15) and ‘new’ (EU-13) Member States. Concerning the recovery from the crises, the picture also remains mixed.

Administrative and regulatory obstacles are often highlighted by SMEs as being a significant burden on their growth. It is substantially more costly for smaller firms to comply with regulations and few Member States actively support SMEs when it comes to tax provisions, or take their specific characteristics into account when drafting legislation. The European Parliament has been a long-standing advocate of an environment for SMEs that is conducive to growth.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Barriers to SME growth in Europe‘.

Discussion

One thought on “Barriers to SME growth in Europe

  1. The pernicious Tobacco Products Directive has already ensured the demise of hundreds of SMEs to the advantage of the Tobacco Multinationals – which is, presumably, its purpose.

    Like

    Posted by Margaret Hermon | May 30, 2016, 13:06

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

EU’s refugee crisis
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,296 other followers

RSS Link to Members’ Research Service

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved

%d bloggers like this: