EU enterprise policy falls as such outside the EEA Agreement. Keywords in EU Enterprise policy in 2003 are innovation and entrepeneurship. Some EU programmes in this field fall within the scope of the Agreement. Important policy developments and activities are followed closely by the EEA/EFTA countries.
Norway participates in activities under the "Multiannual Programme for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and in particular for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises" (MAP), 2001-2005 (OJ 29.12.00 L 333/84). This programme represents an important part of the Lisbon Strategy follow-up within enterprise policy, and is based on three main activities: Financial instruments to increase the capital availability in early markets, information services mainly through the Euro Info Centers, and, policy-projects to improve policy-measures throughout Europe. The objectives of the programme are:
- Enhancing the growth and competitiveness of business in a knowledge-based international economy
- Promotion of Entrepreneurship
- Simplification and improvement of the administrative and regulatory framework for business, so that research, innovation and business creation can flourish
- Improve the financial environment for business, especially SMEs
- Easier access for business to Community support services, programmes and networks and their improved co-ordination.
Norwegian organisations and businesses may participate in calls for tenders under this programme. Norway also reports to the European Charter for Small Enterprises where good practices are identified within ten key policy areas.
Although enterprise policy as such falls outside the EEA Agreement, most of the fields covered by the Agreement are relevant to enterprise policy.
Further development of the Internal Market is one important aspect of enterprise policy (financial services, the Community patent, corporate governance and maritime safety are important keywords for Spring 2003), as well as e.g. research, the Information Society (ICT) and Better Regulation.