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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Western Balkan economies but until recently received relatively little attention from policy makers.
Governments focused on consolidating macroeconomic stabilisation and the restructuring and privatisation of large companies. The adoption in 2003 of the European Charter for Small Enterprises contributed to a change in policy perspective.
The 2007 SME Policy Index presents the first comprehensive and comparative assessment of progress made in implementing the Charter.
The SME Policy Index uses collaborative benchmarking to measure progress in the ten dimensions of the Charter:
Governments of the region have taken action based on the results of the report through the creation in April 2007 of a South East European Investment Committee which aims to develop detailed guidelines on how to implement reforms in priority areas including the SME environment.