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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

The network of SME envoys

The network of SME envoys was set up in 2011 as part of the review of the small business act. Each EU country has nominated a national SME envoy to complement the role of the EU SME envoy who chairs the network. The group of SME envoys makes up an SME policy advisory group that promotes SME friendly regulation and policymaking in all EU countries.

Why a network of SME envoys?

Even though EU countries can do a lot to improve the regulatory and policy environment for SMEs, it is often hard for small businesses to voice their opinion and reach policymakers. The network of SME envoys improves the consultation process with national SMEs and cooperation between EU countries.

The EU SME envoy

The role involves

  • opening up channels of communication between the European Commission, SMEs, and their representative organisations
  • promoting SMEs‘ interests throughout the whole Commission and ensuring that the 'think small principle' is applied effectively in the Europe 2020 strategy

Therefore, the network of SME envoys filters EU initiatives (SME filter) and signals those that merit attention from an SME perspective to the Commission. Initiatives that are listed in the SME filter will have to be accompanied by a proportionate SME test. The SME filter will be updated every 2 weeks.

EU countries’ SME envoys

SME envoys in EU countries are appointed by the national government. Their role is to

  • promote SMEs' interests throughout all government bodies and ensure that the 'think small first' principle is integrated into their policy-making and regulatory proposals
  • act as the main interface between the Commission and national policy-makers
  • report on the implementation of SME policy actions, inform on SME policy actions, and promote the exchange of good practices

More information on the role of SME envoys in EU countries (13 kB).

Meetings of the SME envoys network

The network meets several times a year with observers from European business organisations. See more information on the meetings.

Supporting documents and reports