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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Study on "Best Practices"

Study on best practices to promote the participation of craft and SME enterprises in standardisation and the use of standards (2006)

In 2005-2006 DG Enterprise carried out a study aiming at collecting comprehensive information on national actions and support measures implemented by national administrations, national standards bodies and SME and craft organisations and sectoral professional organisations or associations.

The study concerned 32 countries:

  • the current 27 Member States of the EU
  • the three EEA states of EFTA (Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland)
  • the Candidate Countries Croatia and Turkey.

The final outcome was a report with a selection of 23 cases of "good practices".

The study shows that most of the measures found at national level raise awareness and provide information.
It is recommended to further support the participation of SMEs and craft enterprises in standardisation, and to defend their interest in this process.

The findings also reveal that technical aspects of standards are very similar to SMEs, craft enterprises and large enterprises, but most of the time texts are not easy to understand for smaller enterprises.
More attention should be put to the simplicity and wording in order to make standards easy to use for SME and craft enterprises.

The study should enable stakeholders to learn from experiences in the different countries and to replicate them in their country.

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