The EU aims to make EU industry and business more competitive and to promote job creation and economic growth by creating a business-friendly environment, particularly for small businesses and the manufacturing industry.
Industrial competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship are the keys to Europe's economic recovery.
With globalisation and stronger competition from emerging countries, Europe’s long-term economic prosperity will depend on the strength of our industrial base, not on services and banks alone.
As regards industry and innovation, by 2020 the EU aims to:
Europe’s 23 m small businesses (SMEs):
Europe has unexploited entrepreneurial potential. Although 38 % of Europeans say they would like to be their own boss, only 10 % are self-employed. The EU is working to increase this percentage, to generate jobs and rejuvenate the economic base.
The EU aims to remove the remaining barriers to trade and to avoid creating new ones by promoting a business and consumer-friendly EU market, based on simple, transparent and consistent rules and standards. The EU single market should be a launchpad for companies and industry, enabling them to thrive in the global economy.
Published in November 2014
This publication is part of the 'European Union explained' series