Does the option have an impact on the competitive position of EU firms in comparison with their non-EU rivals?

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This key question helps evaluate the likely impacts of policy measures and initiatives on the pursuit of the following economic objectives: improving the ability of EU economies to produce and commercialise abroad goods and services which meet the test of international markets, and to participate to international exchanges of goods, capital and knowledge under free and fair competition, while simultaneously maintaining and expanding employment and real income of EU population over the long term; gradually increasing the economic integration with enlargement countries by expanding international exchanges with them; extracting the highest economic rents from international exchanges of goods, capital and knowledge and minimising the costs of international operations for the EU economy as a whole.[1]

EU policies aimed at supporting the international economic performance of the Unionare manifold. The main actions taken through a number of recent directives, regulatory documents and decisions include: research activity and promotion of immaterial investments and information technology utilisation; standards harmonisation and protection of intellectual property; enterprise policy; company law. Enterprise policy, in particular, is aimed at promoting a business environment in which European enterprises can fully utilise their potential of economic growth, internationalisation and job creation in the EU. This policy, focussed chiefly on SMEs, consists in (i) promoting entrepreneurship by improving the access to loan and equity finance and to international cooperation; (ii) enhancing the competitiveness of European enterprises, especially by promoting electronic commerce, information technology, support services for enterprises (e.g business search networks), information services (Euro-Info-Centres), management training; (iii) enabling enterprises to take full advantage of the single market, and integrating the enterprise and competitiveness dimensions in other Community policies, such as competition, environment, regional, research and trade policies.[1]

This text is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace any reference documents. The text is partially adapted from:

European Commission: DG Enterprise and Industry and European Commission: DG Trade

Further information

EC related information:

Other information:

World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report (the report itself has to be ordered, however, more useful information and statistics is available on this site)[1]

The following Sustainable Development Indicators (Economic Development) are relevant to address the key question:

International price competitiveness (Real effective exchange rate)

Relevant data is also available through the OECD database under the following headings:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 JRC: IA TOOLS. Supporting inpact assessment in the European Commission.[1]