Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

SME envoys network

SME envoys network

The network of SME envoys was set up in 2011 as part of the review of the small business act. Each EU country has nominated a national SME envoy to complement the role of the EU SME envoy who chairs the network. The group of SME envoys makes up an SBA advisory group that promotes SME friendly regulation and policy making in all EU countries.

Why a network of SME envoys?

Even though EU countries can do a lot to improve regulatory and policy environment for SMEs, it is often hard for small businesses to voice their opinion and reach policy makers. The network of SME envoys improves the consultation process with national SMEs and cooperation between EU countries.

The EU SME envoy

The position of EU SME envoy will be filled as soon as Commissioner Thierry Breton has nominated the new EU SME envoy, in accordance with the mission letter from President Ursula von der Leyen. Until this nomination, the SME envoy network is presided ad interim by Kristin Schreiber, Deputy SME Envoy and Director for SME policy, Entrepreneurship and the COSME Programme. The role involves

  • opening up channels of communication between the European Commission, SMEs, and their representative organisations
  • promoting SMEs‘ interests throughout the whole Commission and ensuring that the 'think small principle' is applied effectively in the new Europe 2020 strategy

More information on the role of the SME envoy (13 KB).

EU countries’ SME envoys

SME envoys in EU countries are appointed by the national government. Their role is to

  • promote SMEs' interests throughout all government bodies and ensure that the 'think small first' principle is integrated into their policy-making and regulatory proposals
  • act as the main interface between the Commission and national policy-makers
  • report on the uptake of the SBA in EU countries, step up efforts to distribute information on SME policy actions, and promote the exchange of good practices

More information on the role of SME envoys in EU countries (13 kB).

List of SME envoys

Click on the flag to see the SBA factsheets. See the SME performance review for translations of the fact sheets.

CountryNameInstitution, telephoneEmail


AustriaMr Florian Frauscher,
Director General
Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs
+43 (0)1 71100 - 803522


BelgiumMr Didier Kinet,
Director General
Federal Public Service Economy, SMEs, Self-employed and Energy
+32 (0)2 277 51 11


BulgariaMr Lachezar Borisov,
Deputy Minister
Ministry for Economy


CroatiaMr Mario Antonić,
State Secretary
Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts
+ 385 1 610 61 11


CyprusMr Constantinos Karageorgis,
Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism
+357 2 286 7100


Czech RepublicMr Marian Piecha,
Deputy Minister
Ministry of Industry and Trade
+420 224 851 111


DenmarkMr Torsten Andersen,
Deputy Director General
Danish Business Authority


EstoniaMr Viljar Lubi,
Deputy Secretary General
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication
+372 625 6342


FinlandMr Petri Peltonen,
Director General
Ministry of Employment and the Economy
+358 29 516001


Ms Caroline Mischler,  Director
Ministère de l’economie et des finances
+33 1 40 04 04 04


GermanyMs Sabine Hepperle,
Director General
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
+49 (0) 3018 6159


GreeceMs Panagoula Pasxali,
Director General
Ministry of Development and Competitiveness
+30 210 3332000


HungaryMr Balázs Szepesi,
Deputy State Secretary
Ministry for National Economy
+36 1 795 1400


IrelandMr Conor Verdon,
SME Envoy
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
+353 59 917 8990


ItalyMs Benedetta Francisconi,
Director General
Ministero dello sviluppo economico
+39 0647051


LatviaMr Kristaps Soms,
Ministry of Economy
+371 67013100


LithuaniaMr Tomas Urban,
Ministry of Economy


LuxembourgMr Gilles ScholtusMinistère de l'Economie
+352 2478 2478


MaltaMs Nancy Caruana,
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of the Economy, Investment and Small Business
+356 2220 9500


The NetherlandsMr Pieter Waasdorp,
Ministry of Economic Affairs
+31 77 465 67 67


Mr. Wojciech Paluch,
Undersecretary of State
Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
+48 22 693 5000


PortugalMr Nuno Mangas, ChairmanIAPMEI (Ministry of Economy)
+351 213 245 400


Mr Darius Vodă,
Deputy Director

Ministry for Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship


SlovakiaMr Jan Oravec, 
State Secretary
Ministry of Economy
+421-2-4854 7204


SloveniaMs Martina Gasperlin,
Director General
Ministry of Economic Development and Technology
+386 1 400 33 11


SpainMs Maria Muñoz Martinez, DirectorMinistry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism  
+34 913 49 23 45


SwedenMs Gunila Nordlöf,
Director General
The Swedish Agency
for Economic and Regional Growth
+46 8 681 91 00

List of priority areas covered by SME envoys

Access to financePieter Waasdorp, The Netherlands
Training and skillsSabine Hepperle, Germany
Green economyTo be reattributed
Internationalisation/access to marketsTo be reattributed
Key-enabling technologies and clustersTo be reattributed
2nd chanceTo be reattributed
Entrepreneurship, including entrepreneurship educationMario Antoniċ, Croatia
Family business related issues and transfer of businessesChristian Cardona, Malta
Better regulation and reduction of administration burdensTo be attributed
SME testDidier Kinet, Belgium
LicensingConor Verdon, Ireland
Public procurementDidier Kinet, Belgium
DigitalisationGunilla Nordlöf, Sweden
Start-ups and scaling upTo be reattributed
Business innovation and related IPR aspectsTo be reattributed
SMEs in the defence sectorMario Antoniċ, Croatia
SMEs in the satellite business and related sectorsTo be attributed
Single market issues specific to start and scale-ups as well as 'traditional' SMEsTorsten A. Andersen, Denmark
Cooperation of ecosystems on thesub-national levelTo be decided

Meetings of the SME envoys network

The network meets 4 times a year with observers from European business organisations.

Supporting documents

Call of the SME envoy network for a vigorous and forward-looking EU policy for small businesses

European SME-action programme (prepared by the national SME Envoys in cooperation with business organisations participating as observers of the SME Envoy meetings)

Small business act for Europe

Commission decision (145 KB) of 4 July 2012 setting up the group of experts on enterprise and SME policies