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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Access to markets

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A Single Market for goods and services is one of the main drivers of Europe's economy. It relies largely on the opportunities available for businesses to market goods and to provide or access services in the EU. It is the EU's central mission to secure an increased market integration and to remove obstacles to the free movement of goods, services and capital and to the freedom of establishment.

The changing nature of modern trade means that many of the trade barriers European companies face are not just the traditional import tariffs or quotas but discriminatory regulations.

Studies demonstrate a direct link between internationalisation and company's competitiveness. The EU is helping SMEs to develop and promote their international activities and facilitating the access to international markets.

Local support provided by 600 Enterprise Europe Network partners in more then 40 countries is available to entrepreneurs who need market and regulatory information or who are looking for business or technological partnerships.

Internationalisation also means awareness of standards and compliance certification processes. Actions are carried out to improve the participation of SMEs in the European standardisation process as well as to promote the use of standards facilitating access to the Single Market.

European businesses are entitled to freely establish and provide services wherever they are in the EU. All mobility-related and business lifecycle information and services available at national or European level can be found on the Your Europe Business Portal.

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