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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 SME policy advisory group that promotes SME friendly regulation and policymaking in all EU countries.

Why a network of SME envoys?

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

The EU SME envoy

On 5 May 2021, the Commission nominated Mr Vazil Hudák as EU SME Envoy. Mr Hudák, a Slovak national, is a former EIB Vice-president. He has extensive experience in the private and public sector and was formerly the Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic. 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 implementation of SME policy actions, inform 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.

Country Name Institution, telephone Email


Austria Mr Florian Frauscher,
Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs
+43 (0)1 71100 - 803522


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


Bulgaria Mr Lachezar Borisov,
Deputy Minister
Ministry for Economy


Croatia Ms Nataša Mikuš Žigman,
State Secretary
Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development
+ 385 1 610 61 11


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


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


Denmark Mr Torsten Andersen,
Deputy Director-General
Danish Business Authority


Estonia Ms Sille Kraam,
Department Head
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication
+372 625 6342


Finland Mr Petri Peltonen,
Ministry of Employment and the Economy
+358 29 516001


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


Germany Ms Sabine Hepperle,
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
+49 (0) 3018 6159


Greece Ms Panagoula Pasxali,
Ministry of Development and Competitiveness
+30 210 3332000


Hungary Mr Balázs Dobos,
Deputy State Secretary
Ministry for National Economy
+36 1 795 1400


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


Italy Ms Benedetta Francisconi,
Ministero dello sviluppo economico
+39 0647051


Latvia Mr Kristaps Soms,
Ministry of Economy
+371 67013100


Lithuania Mr Tomas Urban,
Ministry of Economy


Luxembourg Mr Gilles Scholtus Ministère de l'Economie
+352 2478 2478


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


The Netherlands Mr 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


Portugal Mr Nuno Mangas,
IAPMEI (Ministry of Economy)
+351 213 245 400


Mr Darius Vodă,
Deputy Director

Ministry for Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship


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


Slovenia Mr Jernej Salecl,
Ministry of Economic Development and Technology
+386 1 400 33 11


Spain Ms Maria Muñoz Martinez, Director Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism  
+34 913 49 23 45


Sweden Ms Gunila Nordlöf,
The Swedish Agency
for Economic and Regional Growth
+46 8 681 91 00

List of priority areas covered by SME envoys

Area Envoy(s)
Business value and continuity Maria Benedetta Francesconi, Italy
Access to finance Pieter Waasdorp, The Netherlands
Training and skills Sabine Hepperle, Germany
Green economy To be reattributed
Internationalisation/access to markets Conor Verdon, Ireland
Key-enabling technologies and clusters To be reattributed
2nd chance To be reattributed
Entrepreneurship, including entrepreneurship education Croatia
Family business-related issues and transfer of businesses Nancy Caruana, Malta
Better regulation and reduction of administration burden Wojciech Paluch, Poland
SME test Didier Kinet, Belgium
Public procurement Didier Kinet, Belgium
Digitalisation Gunilla Nordlöf, Sweden
Start-ups and scaling up To be reattributed
Business innovation and related IPR aspects To be reattributed
SMEs in the defence sector Croatia
SMEs in the satellite business and related sectors To be attributed
Single market issues specific to start and scale-ups as well as 'traditional' SMEs Torsten A. Andersen, Denmark
Cooperation of ecosystems on the sub-national level To be decided

Meetings of the SME envoys network

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

Supporting documents