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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

The SME Test analyses the possible effects of EU legislative proposals on SMEs. By assessing the costs and benefits of policy options, it helps implement the 'think small principle' and improve the business environment.

The SME Test implements the 'think small principle' through

  • preliminary assessment of businesses likely to be affected
  • consultation with SMEs and SME representative organisations (SMEs, envoys, EEN)
  • measurement of the impact on SMEs (cost-benefit analysis)
  • use of mitigating measures, if appropriate

The European Commission is committed to a systematic and proportionate application of the SME Test in its impact assessment guidelines. The updated SME test is presented in the Better Regulation toolbox, revised in July 2017.

SME Test in EU countries

The Commission actively encourages EU countries and other EU institutions to systematically apply the SME Test in the policy-making process.
A technical seminar on SME Test in EU countries took place on 5 October 2016, with the participation of experts from EU countries national administrations, representatives of European SMEs organisations and Commission officials involved in the practical implementation of SME test.

Supporting documents