The role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is unquestionable in the European economies, while financial opportunities are still inadequate for them. The more than 20 million SMEs play a significant role in European economic growth, innovation and job creation. According to the latest EC Annual Report , SMEs are accounting for 99% of all no...n-financial enterprises, employing 88.8 million people and generating almost EUR 3.7 tn in added value for our economy. Despite the fact that there is plenty of EU funding available for these SMEs, for certain reasons these funds hardly reach them. But we have to see that the EU supports SMEs by various way, e.g. by grants, regulatory changes, financial instrument, direct funds. On the other hand, SMEs and decision makers realised that the environmental sustainability has to be attached to the economic growth, therefore more and more tools are available for these enterprises. Over the last few years, public institutions, the market, the financial community and non-governmental associations have explicitly demanded that firms improve their environmental performance. One of the greatest opportunities might lay in the Climate- and Energy Strategy till 2030 as 20% of the EU budget is allocated to climate-related actions, however the easy access to finance is still a key question. Does the EU recognise the actual difficulties? Is there a systemic reason behind the absorption problems? Is the EU creating a more businessfriendly environment for SMEs, facilitating access to finance, stimulates the green and sustainable growth and improving access to new markets? The paper analyses the current European situation of the SMEs and the effectiveness of some new tools, which are specially targeting SMEs.
JEL classification: Q18
This paper presents an assessment of the impacts of introducing the greening scenario of the CAP, proposed by the European Commission as an alternative for the reformed CAP after 2013. In the past, the CAP has undergone numerous transformations in response to the changing macroeconomic environment and in reaction to developments in the farming...sectors in EU countries. On the 12th of October 2011, the Commission presented a set of legal proposals designed to make the CAP a more effective policy to encourage more competitive and sustainable agriculture and vibrant rural areas. The proposal brings various new elements under consideration, some of them raising strong controversies such as introducing “greening” as a component of direct payments. Changes in the direct payments scheme in line with the EC proposition include forcing adjustments in the cropping pattern and creating ecological focus areas (EFA) on 7% of the farm land ; the consequences of such a proposal on the size and structure of agricultural production, and thus on the economic performance of farms and the whole agricultural sector are uncertain. The authors analyse historical changes to the CAP with a focus on a growing importance of the environmental component of the CAP, discuss different scenarios of shaping the direct payments system and present the results of modelling the impacts of greening the CAP on the Polish farming sector with the use of the LP optimisation model. The study was based on Polish FADN data. Results show that the majority of farmers in Poland comply with the crop diversification constraint of greening. However, establishing the required EFAs and necessary diversification on farms with simplified cropping structures will have a negative impact on the volume of agricultural production as well as on farm incomes.