The Single European Market and SMEs: A comparison of its effects in the food and clothing sector in the UK and Portugal

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Series Details Volume 33, Number 1, Pages 51-62
Publication Date February 1999
ISSN 0034-3404
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The creation of a Single European Market in 1992 represented an attempt to accelerate the process of European economic integration. However, in terms of the actual impact of the Single Market process, most of the attention so far has concentrated upon the implications for the large firm corporate sector. In comparison, there has been a lack of in-depth analysis of the effects of the Single Market for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), despite the contribution to employment generation that is often prescribed for them in policy terms.

This paper seeks to stimulate a more informed debate about the consequences of the Single Market for SMEs by contrasting the effects on firms in different spatial and sectoral contexts, drawing upon original survey evidence of SMEs in the food and clothing sectors in the UK and Portugal.

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