Programme "Management and development - MER" is a project that has been going on for years, and which has been carried out by scientists and researchers of management and enterprise development, who are coming from more than fifty European universities. The initiator of the programme - and during the first years of its implementation its co-ordinator - was the University of Maribor, Slovenia. An important incentive for the development of the programme was the resources of EU (EC Phare ACE Programme 1995), which were given to the organisers of the scientific conference MER 96. In 1997, a non-profit research and development organisation "MER Evrocenter" was established in Slovenia, which co-ordinates activities of partner Universities within the programme.
Between 1992 and 1998, four international scientific conferences were organised within the MER programme, attended by more than 500 participants from various parts of Europe. In addition, 12 scientific monographies and proceedings of conferences were published. The basic purpose and the objectives of the programme MER remain the same for the period from 1999 to 2002, namely, the investigation and introduction of models of integral management and development of enterprises in order to prevent crises, improve innovation, co-operation, integrity and thus to increase competitive advantages of European economies. Small and medium-sized enterprises will remain in the centre of our attention (especially family businesses), because they are of utmost importance in the efforts to achieve the necessary economic prosperity in EU and the whole Europe.