The objective of enterprise policy is to produce an environment that is more conducive to the creation and development of businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), within the European Union.
The main focus of this policy is on:
- promoting entrepreneurship (encouraging business creation, and supporting companies, especially SMEs, during their start-up and development phase);
- promoting European performances in terms of competitiveness (encouraging businesses to adapt to structural change and maintaining a high and consistent level of productivity growth;
- taking account of the specific characteristics and needs of the different sectors of industry;
- promoting innovation (following up technological developments, new product designs, developing new ways of marketing products);
- better access to funding, support networks and programmes;
- simplification of the regulatory and administrative environment.
Enterprise policy thus contributes to sustainable growth and job creation. It is involved in achieving the objective set by the European Council in Lisbon on 23 and 24 March 2000 when the Heads of State and Government declared that the European Union was to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010.
EU enterprise policy helps to support and coordinate the Member States' activities. The Union can neither replace national competences nor harmonise national legislation and regulations.