Supporting SME competitiveness in the Eastern Partner countries


‌‌‌Across the region, SMEs account for over 95% of private companies and play an important role as key engines for further economic growth and employment. The SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2016 implemented in 2014-2015 with EU support reveals that all Eastern Partner countries are taking steps towards developing an SME policy framework, however significant challenges remain for the entire region.

The Supporting SME Competitiveness Reforms in the Eastern Partner countries project assists the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine) with the implementation of policy reforms based on policy recommendations stemming from a first Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) assessment carried out in 2010-2012. The assessment was produced by the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Training Foundation and the OECD, and published in the . A key component of the project, in assisting with implementation, is policy dialogue through capacity building and peer review at regional level.

In parallel, a second SBA assessment was undertaken in 2014-2015, leading to the publication of the SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner countries 2016. The publication measures convergence to the Small Business Act for Europe and progress made in SME policy implementation over time (2012–2015), using the results of the first edition of the .

It also contributes to the regional policy dialogue between SME policy makers in the region, notably by providing a set of recommendations for further policy reforms. These projects are implemented within the framework of the SME Panel of the Eastern Partnership. The main goal of the Eastern Partnership is to create the conditions to accelerate political association and deepen economic integration between the EU and the Eastern European partner countries. The SME Panel, launched in 2010, supports the development of SMEs and improvement of the business environment in Partner countries for Eastern Partner SMEs and European SMEs alike.


Global Relations
SME Policy Index Overview
SME Competitiveness Reforms in Armenia, Georgia and Belarus
Small Business Act for Europe

EU sources

DG Entreprise and Industry
DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid
European External Action Service


SME Policy Index 2016 Launch - 24 November: Agenda | Pусский 

Angel Gurria presents the SMEPI Eastern Partner Countries 2016 Report during Eurasia Week 2015

Launch of the SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner countries 2016 at OECD Eurasia Week, 24 November 2015

Co-funded by the European Union


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