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  • Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the implementation of the European Charter for Small Enterprises; COM(2004) 64 final


Small businesses play a central role in the European economy. The average European enterprise employs no more than six people. In Europe, small businesses play a much more important role than in other parts of the world. These small businesses are a key source of jobs, business dynamism and innovation.
This is the fourth annual implementation report on the Charter. It aims to provide a brief overview of the main measures undertaken by the Member States and the Commission to implement the Charter in the past year. As such, it seeks to identify strengths and weaknesses across the European Union, to highlight promising national measures and to issue recommendations for future action and thereby contribute to the strengthening of policy in support of small businesses and to maintain the momentum generated by Lisbon.
The Charter recommendations are just as relevant to enterprises in other European countries. The endorsement of the Charter by the candidate countries in April 2002 in Maribor, was followed by endorsement by the countries of the Western Balkans at the European Union � Western Balkans Summit of Thessaloniki in June 2003. 34 countries have now committed themselves to applying the �think small first� principle embodied in the Charter.
The Charter brings together all aspects of policy affecting small businesses at European and national level. In adopting this comprehensive approach, the Charter contributes to focus the attention of policy-makers at the highest level on the need for continuous improvement.

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Record Number: 4380 / Last updated on: 2004-04-23