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SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2016

Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

image of SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2016

The SME Policy Index is a benchmarking tool designed for emerging economies to assess SME policy frameworks and monitor progress in policy implementation over time. The Index has been developed by the OECD in partnership with the European Commission (EC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Training Foundation (ETF) in 2006 for the Western Balkans. The South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL) joined as an additional partner in 2014. The SME Policy Index has since 2006 been applied in four regions and nine assessment rounds overall.

The SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2016 presents the results of the fourth assessment of the Small Business Act for Europe in the Western Balkans and, since 2012, Turkey. The assessment framework is structured around the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA). It provides a wide-range of pro-enterprise measures to guide the design and implementation of SME policies based on good practices promoted by the EU and the OECD.

The Index identifies strengths and weaknesses in policy design, implementation and monitoring. It allows for comparison across countries and measures convergence towards good practices and relevant policy standards. It aims to support governments in setting targets for SME policy development and to identify strategic priorities to further improve the business environment. It also helps to engage governments in policy dialogue and exchange good practices within the region and with OECD and EU members.

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Institutional and regulatory framework for SME policy making (Dimension 3) in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Design rules according to the “think small first” principle (Small Business Act Principle 3)

The “think small first” principle requires public authorities to take SMEs’ interests into consideration early on in the policy-making process. It takes a comprehensive and coherence policy and institutional framework to ensure that laws and regulations are SME friendly and that public initiatives effectively address the needs of SMEs. This dimension therefore assesses three inter-related aspects of the SME policy process: 1) the institutional frameworks themselves; 2) the adoption of legislative simplification and regulatory impact analysis tools to ensure SME needs are incorporated into existing and future laws and regulations; and 3) the existence of participatory platforms for public-private consultations on SME-related topics. This assessment found that the economies of the Western Balkans and Turkey are demonstrating increasingly sophisticated SME policy development, moving beyond initial institution building towards tracking policy implementation and monitoring. On the other hand, the limited availability of good-quality statistical data on the SME sector and limited consideration of SMEs’ particular needs in regulatory reviews remain major obstacles to effective SME policy making in the region.

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