SBA Governance Phase II aimed at improving the governance of SME policies and programmes based on principles 3 and 4 of the Small Business Act for Europe:

  1. Think Small First; and
  2. Public administration responsive to SME needs.

These principles constitute an area of common interest, where progress is needed throughout the whole MED region, as the 2014 evaluation exercise showed.

In order to select the most relevant topics within these two broad principles, the EBESM project conducted a consultation exercise with the eight MED countries, whereby the national SBA coordinators and two representatives of relevant private sector institutions in each country.

As a result, this activity put the focus on three SBA governance issues:

  • Delegation of responsibility for enterprise policy (not only enterprise creation but also their growth and survival);
  • Inter-governmental coordination;
  • Public-private dialogue.

This activity involved a three-stage approach: 

1) Preparatory phase: planning of a concrete action to be implemented.

EBESM experts helped stakeholders in the participating countries to design an action plan for a small-scale action to improve the development of SMEs and to prepare the presentation of the proposals in the regional seminar in Barcelona.

2) The seminar in Barcelona:  presentation of the proposals of action, discussion and preparation of the implementation (17-19 March 2015).

During the seminar, each action plan was discussed and fine-tuned with the experts and “critical friends” from MED and EU countries who suggested improvements.  The experts have engaged participants in group exercises to learn how to make use of methods and tools that can help translate proposals into action following the regional seminar (such as tools for managing projects, monitoring and evaluation, communication).

3) Presentation of the results of the regional seminar, turning proposals into action (post mid-March 2015).

Participants presented the results of the seminar and the action plan to key stakeholders in their country. Technical assistance was provided to help MED countries implement their action plans.