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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.

Industry is key to economic recovery

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:

  • strengthen its industrial base and promote transition to a low-carbon economy
  • promote innovation as a means to generate new sources of growth
  • encourage small businesses and promote an entrepreneurial culture
  • guarantee an EU-wide market for goods
  • contribute to the European presence in space.

Small businesses & entrepreneurship

Europe’s 23 m small businesses (SMEs):

  • account for 99 % of businesses
  • provide 67 % of jobs
  • create 85 % of all new jobs.

EU policy is designed to improve the business environment, promote a climate of entrepreneurship and job creation. and give small businesses easier access to finance and markets .

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.

An EU-wide market for goods & services

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.