Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window



The Treaty on European Union stipulates that, in accordance with the principle of open and competitive markets, the Community's actions should be aimed at:

  • facilitating the adaptation of industry to structural changes
  • stimulating a favourable environment for the development of entrepreneurship, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • promoting cooperation between businesses and fostering better use of industry's potential in policies relating to innovations, research and technological development

Among the issues pertaining to industrial, entrepreneurial and innovation policies which will have relevancy during Slovenia's Presidency and will be discussed as priorities by the Competitiveness Council, are the launch of the second three-year cycle of the Lisbon Strategy, SME policy, sustainable industrial policy, innovation and an initiative on lead markets.


Launch of the second three-year cycle of the Lisbon Strategy

The successful start-up of the new Lisbon cycle will be one of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency. Good preparation for the spring European Council poses a major challenge wherein the Competitiveness Council will play an important part. The first meeting of the Competitiveness Council during the Slovenian Presidency will be devoted precisely to this topic. We will strive to draft a high-quality and balanced “document on key matters”, with clear messages for the microeconomic part of the Lisbon strategy. This involves the year by year contribution of the Competitiveness Council to the spring European Council, which will carry special weight this time given the start of the new Lisbon cycle. We hope that this can contribute to the further development of a competitive and dynamic business environment in the EU.


SME Policy

The competitiveness of the entrepreneurial sector and its development is especially important in a small and open economy such as Slovenia. Through their innovative, dynamic and adapatable qualities they represent one of the key levers for economic growth as well as for increasing employment.

The modern SME policy has had a significant impact in terms of developing SME policy on the EU and national levels. The objectives set out in the 2006 spring European Council and the measures proposed by the Commission back in November 2005 should also be fulfilled in the next cycle of the Lisbon Strategy. Our view is that intensive focus is needed on the growth phase of SMEs, and this will be one of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency. SMEs are vital to growth and jobs, they are a driving force of the European economy and they offer significant scope for contributing to the fulfilment of the Lisbon objectives.

Major progress to date has been made chiefly in the area of faster and less expensive establishing of companies. Slovenia will now focus on the growth phase of SMEs. This means that alongside the further development of financial mechanisms, specific orientations and mechanisms will need to be developed in order to build upon the efforts thus far aimed primarily at the phase of establishing companies.

Support will be needed for innovative SMEs with high growth potential operating with high value added.

Points of emphasis:

  • SMEs are a dirving force in the European economy, clearly contributing to growth and the economy, so they need to be supported. Focus is needed on the SME growth phase.
  • A support environment needs to be constructed for the target group of technological and non-technological enterprises and entrepreneurs with rapid growth potential.
  • Entrepreneurism and an entrepreneurial culture need to be fostered, since this will be exceptionally important both for SMEs and large enterprises.
  • The EU needs a general political framework for clusters, which among other things would promote better collaboration among the clusters of individual Member States. Slovenia believes that clustering represents one of the most important tools for collaboration between the research sector and the commercial sector, and consequently for the transfer of innovations to the economy.
  • We need to ensure access to attractive financial instruments for the support of company growth, which is vitally important to the fulfilment of innovative projects with high value added and major market potential.
  • In our conclusions we will call upon the European Commission to offer concrete proposals regarding the Small Business Act.


Sustainable industrial policy

The Action Plan for a Sustainable Industrial Policy will be published early in the spring of 2008. Slovenia will give the actual dossier priority treatment and will devote attention to it at the May meeting of the Competitiveness Council.

In the spring of 2007 the European Council reiterated its commitment to changing the European economy into one that is energy efficient and involves minimal carbon. This goal must also be pursued in industrial policy. It is important for potential challenges to be turned into opportunities for European industry. It is important to encourage innovation and the use of environment-friendly technologies, products and services.



In December 2006 the Competitiveness Council adopted a broad-based innovation policy, which embraces nine strategic priorities, and also undertook to prepare annual reports on progress in implementing the Strategy. The first report should be prepared within the framework of the debate on the Lisbon Strategy early in 2008. December 2007 will see the publication of the communication on lead markets, which is one of the strategic priorities and which should, based on the identification of promising, rapidly growing markets for high-technology and innovative products and services, improve competitiveness on the global scale. At the same time, an initiative on innovations in the services sector is being prepared.


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 04.01.2008