30 July 2018
On 22nd February 2018, the European Commission called for national and regional organizations, enterprises, business associations, venture capital providers, research and academic institutions, and individual citizens to participate in public consultation on the review of the SME definition. The consultation was open from 6 February to 6 May 2018. The individual results have now been published and are available to review.
SME stands for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which represent 99% of all EU businesses and employ 2 out of every 3 employees in the EU. To ensure a smooth access to finance and EU support programmes for these enterprises, the SME is defined in the EU recommendation 2003/361. The SME definition helps to identify market failures and other obstacles that enterprises face due to their size. It also allows them receiving preferential treatment in public support.
The SME definition is widely used in both EU policies, such as competition (state aid), structural funds, research and innovation (Horizon 2020), and some European administrative exemptions and reduced fees.
The European Commission is prepared the evaluation with a view to a possible revision of some aspects of the SME definition, and public consultation was a part of this process. it allowed interested parties to provide feedback, and it is expected that results will actually impact the assessment.
The Commission will summarise the replies after the end of the consultation period. The results will be taken into account when preparing the evaluation report.
Written by: Lorna Williams