The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Publication Transnational Perspectives for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Cover of the publication: Transnational Perspectives for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Editor: BBSR Series: Individual publication Published: May 2015 ISBN: 978-3-87994-800-0 URN: urn:nbn:de:101:1-201506037067


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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the European economy. This category accounts for more than 98 per cent of all enterprises and makes up two thirds of all jobs in the private sector. If we want to maintain our competitiveness and promote intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth in line with the objectives of the "Europe 2020" strategy, it is therefore particularly important to support SMEs.

Transnational cooperation (better known under the name of Interreg B) can play an important role here. The examples presented in this brochure show how it is possible to successfully implement a large spectrum of measures with Interreg B which serve to promote and support SMEs.

Until recently SMEs have less formally been involved as project partners in transnational cooperation, but were mainly target group and beneficiaries of project activities and their achievements. There is a greater focus on SMEs in the new programming period 2014–2020 and its alignment with the "Europe 2020" strategy.

The purpose of this brochure, which was produced by the German Institute of Urban Affairs on behalf of the BBSR, is to show project stakeholders such as towns, cities and regions, but also SMEs themselves, the added value that this transnational cooperation can offer small and medium-sized enterprises and to give tips and advice for all those who are planning their own project activities.

The brochure was published in English and German.

Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik gGmbH, Berlin
Dr. Beate Hollbach-Grömig (coordination)
Dr. Holger Floeting
Daniel Zwicker-Schwarm
Claudia Hehn
Patrick Diekelmann (Difu)

Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the
Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR), Bonn

Brigitte Ahlke
Dr. Wilfried Görmar
Jens Kurnol
Sina Redlich



  1. Introduction
  2. Fields of Action for the Support of SMEs in Transnational Cooperation
    2.1 European and German Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Policies
    2.2 Interreg B: SMEs as Actors and Target Group
    2.3 Key Fields of Action of SME Support
  3. Added Value for SMEs from Transnational Interreg Projects
  4. Added Value for Sustainable Regional Development from Transnational SME Projects
  5. Transnational Promotion of SMEs within the Scope of Interreg

The publication is the second of a series of English-speaking publications dealing with transnational cooperation from a special thematic perspective. The following publication has already been published:

(A total of five publications has been published in German.)

German version: Transnationale Perspektiven für den Mittelstand. BBSR-Sonderveröffentlichung
>> further information

The publication is a result of the German-speaking MORO study "Thematische Auswertung der transnationalen Zusammenarbeit: kleine und mittlere Unternehmen (KMU) als Adressaten räumlich orientierter Politik"
>> further information

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