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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 16 October 2014

Turkey joins COSME, the EU’s programme for SME financing

Today, Turkey and the European Commission signed an agreement for Turkey to join the EU's Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Programme (COSME). Turkey is the fourth country from outside the EU sign an agreement to join the programme, following Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Moldova. Turkey's participation in COSME will help extend the EU's policy environment for SME success and growth to a wider area and hence help the EU and its neighbours combine forces to compete more effectively with other economic blocs.

Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said “I welcome the decision of Turkey to join the COSME Programme. It confirms its European aspirations. It also clearly demonstrates its understanding that the challenges of global competition are best faced within a framework of close co-operation. Participation in COSME and in the Enterprise Europe Network will help Turkey to increase the competitiveness of its enterprises, in particular SMEs.”

EU and Turkey

The EU and Turkey enjoy a deep trade relationship. The EU is Turkey’s most important trade partner and Turkey is the EU’s seventh most significant trade partner. Thanks to the EU-Turkey Customs Union, the EU remains a secure and open market for Turkish exporters.

More information on EU Trade with Turkey

SMEs in Turkey

The backbone of Turkey's economy is formed by the large and expanding sector of small companies. Turkey has already carried out the groundwork of developing a favourable regulatory framework for SMEs - as indicated by the recent review of SME performance - and is now ready to focus on boosting their competitiveness. The prolongation of the country's participation in the Enterprise Europe Network (financed under COSME) together with 28 EU countries is a positive step in this direction as it allows Turkey to continue to benefit from best practices in entrepreneurship, SME policy, competitiveness and innovation in the EU.

Background information:

The EU's new COSME Programme, with a total budget of €2.3 billion, will run from 2014 until 2020. Non-EU countries which join the programme pay an additional contribution into the budget.

COSME aims to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the EU's enterprises, encourage an entrepreneurial culture and promote the creation and growth of SMEs. These objectives will be met by improving:

  • access to finance for SMEs

  • access to markets, inside the EU but also at global level

  • ensuring more favourable conditions for business creation and growth

  • promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture

More information on COSME

Other countries joining COSME

Contacts :

Miguel Sagredo (+32 2 296 85 89)

Sara Tironi (+32 2 299 04 03)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail


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