Restructuring in SMEs in Europe
Restructuring is part and parcel of the economic fabric in Europe, as companies must adapt to altered conditions in a bid to remain sustainable and competitive. Most of the policy focus so far, however, has been on restructuring in terms of the large firm. In light of the relative importance of the small and medium-sized company (SME) – constituting over 99% of European businesses and about 66% of private sector employment – policymakers at all levels need to understand the specific challenges facing the smaller firm in order to provide appropriate support for this backbone of the European economy. Based on information derived from 85 case studies across all EU Member States and other sources, the report outlines the features peculiar to SMEs in their anticipation and management of restructuring, explores the main drivers of change and analyses the factors influencing successful restructuring. It offers a wide-ranging, comparative view of how restructuring impacts on workers and the company itself and puts forward several policy pointers for future action.