Evaluation of the SME definition
This evaluation has been commissioned by the Europe 2020 and National Competitiveness Policies unit of Directorate B in DG Enterprise and Industry (Unit B3). The current SME definition is set out in a Recommendation of the Commission adopted on 6th May 2003, which came into effect as from 1st January 2005. This definition up-dated and replaced the one adopted in 1996. The Recommendation is addressed to the Member States, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) and, as well as providing a framework for statistical definitions, has specific applications in EU... policies that support SMEs (Structural Funds, Framework Programme for Research and Development, Competitiveness and Innovation Programme etc.) and in the rules governing State Aid. The Commission has published two reports on the use of the recommended definition : Report from the Commission in 2006 on the Implementation of the Commission Recommendation (2003/361/EC) A Commission Staff Working Document in 2009 on the implementation of the 2003 Commission Recommendation. An SME Definition User-guide has also been published, explaining how it is used in practice and an on-line tool has been provided, courtesy of the Walloon Region of Belgium, that can help enterprises establish if they count as an SME or not. DG Enterprise and Industry is responsible for managing the SME Definition and, if necessary, proposing amendments in the form of a new Commission Recommendation. In 2003, the financial ceilings were updated to reflect productivity growth and inflation. This maintained the relative position of enterprises defined as SMEs within the economy.
- Corporate author(s): Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services , Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (European Commission) Now known as... Now known as... Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (European Commission) Themes: Enterprise, Industrial policy
- Subject: aid to undertakings, business policy, competitiveness, economic growth, EU industrial policy, EU policy, Framework Programme for Research and Development, innovation, research and development, small and medium-sized enterprises