The Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs helps the internationalisation of European businesses and their competitiveness in order to generate growth and jobs. The mission goes beyond the need to explore opportunities in foreign markets. It also lies in the necessity to work for the good integration of EU companies in international value chains and to ensure a level playing field.
Ensuring a level playing field for EU businesses
We work to ensure a fair and level playing field for European businesses so that they can exploit opportunities in non-EU markets.
Cooperation with governments
We coordinate and organise regulatory and industrial policy dialogues with many of the EU's strategic partners. This activity aims to achieve greater convergence of the rules affecting global business, reducing barriers and costs and making it easier for European companies, especially small businesses, to access non-EU country markets. The dialogues cover issues such as standards, conformity assessment and innovation, and industry sectors including space.
Cooperation with regions and international bodies
We promote industrial cooperation, small businesses, entrepreneurship and inclusive sustainable development with Southern and Eastern neighbour countries as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy. We also work with the Latin American region on initiatives that primarily target small businesses, and with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on issues including entrepreneurship, space policy and tourism.
We are involved in international trade and investment negotiations at multilateral (World Trade Organization) and bilateral levels (negotiations for Free Trade Agreements and Economic Partnership Agreements).
Supporting the internationalisation of EU businesses
We put in place various EU instruments that contribute to the internationalisation of European businesses as access to markets outside the EU is essential for European industry.
Several instruments have been set up in the framework of EU programmes such as the COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) programme, the Instrument for Cooperation with Industrialised Countries, the Partnership Instrument, the European Neighbourhood Instrument, and structural and investment funds.
Enlarging the EU
We contribute to the enlargement process by defining policy priorities related to our portfolio for the countries that want to join the EU.