Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

International activities

International activities

The Directorate-General (DG) 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 neccesity to work for the good integration of EU companies in international value chains and to ensure a level-playing field where imports are concerned.

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 important activity aims to achieve a greater convergence of the rules affecting global business, reducing barriers and costs and making it easier for European companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to do business on an international scale. The dialogues cover issues such as standards, conformity assessment and innovation, and certain industry sectors, including space.

Cooperation with governments

Cooperation with regions and international bodies

DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs promotes industrial cooperation, SMEs, entrepreneurship and inclusive sustainable development with Mediterranean and Eastern neighbour countries as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy. DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs also works 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.

Trade negotiations

DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs is involved in international trade and investment negotiations at multilateral (World Trade Organization) and bilateral level (negotiations for Free Trade Agreements and Economic Partnership Agreements).

Supporting the internationalisation of EU businesses

EU instruments

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. These instruments have been put in place in the framework of several EU programmes such as COSME, the Instrument for Cooperation with Industrialised Countries, the Partnership Instrument, the European Neighborhood Instrument, and structural and investment funds.

Overview of EU Instruments contributing to the Internationalisation of European Businesses

See also: SME internationalisation beyond the EU

Other actions

Enlarging the EU

DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs contributes to the enlargement process by defining policy priorities related to its portfolio for the countries who want to join the EU.

Enlarging the EU

Europe 2020

DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs also ensures that enterprise interests and expertise are taken into account in the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth.

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