Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe's economy. They represent 99% of all businesses in the EU. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU. The Scottish Government like the European Commission considers SMEs and entrepreneurship as key to ensuring economic growth, innovation, job creation, and social integration in the EU.
In Scotland we are very proud of the values-based collaborative approach that we take to entrepreneurship and innovation as encapsulated in the Scotland CAN DO framework. We will continue to promote this approach at an EU level. The Scottish Government along with partners will continue to look at ways to further support Scottish SMEs and entrepreneurs at an EU level, including how to improve access to new markets and EU finance.
The Scottish Government recognises that EU regulation has been, and will continue to be, absolutely essential in order to achieve the objectives of the EU Treaties including the establishment and maintenance of the single market. Nonetheless, it recognises that the volume and complexity of the EU regulation affecting businesses in Scotland can pose a significant administrative and financial burden on SMEs in particular. The Scottish Government will continue to actively encourage regulatory reform with a view to making better and smarter regulation at the EU level which has, at its heart, the purpose of creating jobs and increasing growth.