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Businesses are key to jobs and growth in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis, and the European Union (EU) aims to create an environment that nurtures initiative, entrepreneurship and cooperation to maximise their potential.

As part of the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU is redrawing its policy to ensure a strong, diversified, resource-efficient and competitive industrial base to meet the challenges of the global market.

Under Article 173 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the EU has set itself the goal of creating the best possible conditions for competitiveness.