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Potential impact of EU enlargement on SMEs

In order to assess the potential impact of EU enlargement on SMEs, the European Commission, DG XXIII, has published an invitation to tender for a study. This will estimate the costs and benefits and evaluate the challenges and opportunities for SMEs in the EU that will stem from its future enlargement. In addition a range of policy scenarios for consideration by the Commission will be elaborated.

In particular, the study will have the following specific objectives:

- To conduct a general study aiming at the identification of the impact of enlargement on European SMEs. The study should include estimates of costs and benefits and evaluations of challenges and opportunities (in economic and political terms), taking into account the individual size groups according to the EU-recommended definition of SMEs;
- To design and conduct specific sub-studies on SMEs in sectors likely to be most affected by EU enlargement, including costs, benefits and challenges for SMEs;
- To elaborate a range of policy scenarios for consideration by the Commission.

The studies must contain a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the impact of enlargement of the EU. In order to limit the scope of the study it will only address the first group of countries with which accession negotiations have already been opened (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia).

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