Data & Trends
A new publication was launched called Supporting Investment in Knowledge Capital, Growth and Innovation. This book is the result of a two-year programme of work at the OECD on knowledge-based capital involving the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, the Economics Department, the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, the Statistics Directorate and the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration.
Innovation performance in the EU has improved year on year in spite of the continuing economic crisis, but the innovation divide between Member States is widening. While the most innovative countries have further improved their performance, others have shown a lack of progress. The overall ranking within the EU remains relatively stable, with Sweden at the top, followed by Germany, Denmark and Finland.
2012 marked the 20th anniversary of the internal market. It is generally perceived that all technical and legal barriers in the internal market for goods have been eliminated. Indeed, the internal market for food and agricultural products has been fundamentally reformed during recent years and the new Toys Directive and the forthcoming proposal for a General Product Safety Regulation will bring comparable, sweeping change to the EU's consumer product market.
Doing Business is a copublication of The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation and sheds light on how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations.
In the context of the EU 2020 strategy and the annual monitoring of the performance of EU and its member states in competitiveness, the European Commission published on October 10, 2012 two reports:
- The 2012 European Competitiveness Report, which monitors the progress of indicators at EU level in five individual sectors: (1) productivity and skills, (2) export performance, (3) innovation and sustainability, (4) business environment and infrastructure, (5) finance and investment.
The 2012 annual SME newsletter published by the European Commission in the context of the European SME Week reflects the state of play of SMEs in Greece and the progress which has been made in the last year as regards the pillars of the Small Business Act initiative.
The report highlights the significance of the SME sector for the Greek economy, given that SMEs account for 99.9% of businesses (96.6% of which are micro-enterprises) and represent 70.2% of the value-added and 85.2% of unemployment.
The CARS 21 High Level Group released its final report in June, in which it sets out its vision for the European automotive industry for 2020. The recommendations are essentially about helping to ensure that the European automotive industry enjoys a healthy and sustainable future delivering economic growth and jobs whilst making progress in terms of vehicle safety and environmental performance, and at the same time delivering products at an affordable price.
Please read the full report in pdf form.
The Community guidelines on State aid to promote risk capital investments in small and medium-sized enterprises set out the conditions that Member States should respect when granting State aid to promote access to risk capital for SMEs in their early development stages, particularly with a view to ensuring that such aid targets a proven equity gap and does not crowd out financial markets. The Risk Capital Guidelines apply from 18 August 2006.
In Europe, what started out four years ago as a sovereign debt crisis, morphed into a euro currency crisis and led to the fall of several European governments, has now triggered a full-blown crisis of public confidence: in the economy, in the future, in the benefits of European economic integration, in membership in the European Union, in the euro and in the free market system. The public is very worried about joblessness, inflation and public debt, and those fears are fueling much of this uncertainty and negativity.
Please read the full version in pdf form.
Europe’s 23 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of Europe’s economy, accounting for over 98% of businesses. They have provided two thirds of the total private employment and around 80% of new jobs created over the past five years.
However, these are tough times for small firms. Cash flow problems and red tape, along with the global economic downturn, mean companies need a helping hand to weather the storm.
So, in order to promote innovation and job creation, the European Union is pulling out all the stops to support SMEs.