Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • The improvement of the business environment and the promotion of the development of enterprises, and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, 1990-1993

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 135 million

Official Journal Reference

L 239 of 1989-08-16

Legislative Reference

89/490/CEE of 1989-07-28
To improve the business environment and encourage the creation and development of enterprises, and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises.


On 3 November 1986, the Council of the European Communities adopted a resolution concerning the action programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (Official Journal No C 287 of 14.11.1986) and, on 30 June 1988, a resolution on the improvement of the business environment and action to promote the development of enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, in the Community (Official Journal No C 197 of 27.7.1988). The Commission has submitted to the Council a communication on an enterprise policy for the Community which should be strengthened in the light of the completion of the internal market and the Single Europeam Act. This programme on the improvement of the business environment has been adopted to increase the opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) under the Structural Funds, in the Community's research and development programmes and in other Community programmes.

The programme applies, inter alia, to all forms of SMEs, for example craft, cooperative and mutual enterprises.


- Removal of undue administrative, financial and legal constraints which check the development and creation of enterprises:
. Assessment of the impact on business of existing and proposed legislation;
. Consultation with Member States on national procedures;

- Information and assistance to enterprises on Community policies, regulations and activities, and those of each Member State which concern or are likely to concern them:
. Traditional forms of information and development of the Euro Info Centres;
. Management development in SMEs;
. Promotion of access of SMEs to financial markets;
. Promotion of access of SMEs to Community programmes and to Structural Funds;

- Encouragement of cooperation and partnership between enterprises from different regions of the Community:
. Development of the Business Cooperation Network (BC-Net) and of Europartenariat;
. Promotion of transnational subcontracting, pilot and demonstration projects to promote transnational cooperation and promotion of access of SMEs to third country markets;

- Evaluation and policy development:
. Improvement of statistics on SMEs and studies of the impact of the large common market;
. Policy development, preparation of new projects and evaluation of existing projects.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme assisted by a committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission. The Commission ensures close coordination between the various other programmes established and the initiatives taken under this programme in so far as the interest of SMEs and craft industries is manifest, SPRINT, COMETT and Structural Funds in particular. A report on this coordination shall be made to the committee.

Each year the Commission submits an evaluation report on the implementation of the programme to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee.
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top