Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Study on information and assistance needs of businesses operating cross-border within the EU

Study on information and assistance needs of businesses operating cross-border within the EU
Published on: 02/05/2017
This study identifies businesses' expectations in terms of online information and personalised assistance in order to comply with regulations in other EU countries, assesses the gaps between identified needs and what's currently on offer, and estimates the financial impact of these gaps on European businesses and public administrations.

The analysis focuses on businesses' need for information related to: topic, type of information, language, and channels/providers.

The national current offer was analysed in-depth for 8 representative EU countries: Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Sweden.

The results clearly show that what is currently on offer far from meets the needs of EU businesses that wish to do business in other EU countries.

The information currently available could be improved in the following areas:

  • availability of information on relevant topics
  • completeness and usability (i.e. in some cases information is spread over different providers)
  • clarity (i.e. heterogeneity in the approaches chosen by different providers)

It can be concluded that the businesses operating in the Single Market face 2 different types of economic inefficiency that could be avoided:

  • costs related to searching incomplete information online
  • investment decisions may be delayed or abandoned as a result of inaccurate/incomplete information and/or support

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