Väikeste ja keskmiste ettevõtete ligipääs riigihangetele Euroopa Liidus. Eesti näidetel
Small and medium enterprises (SME-s) are the backbone of the EU economy, generating more than 2/3 of the GDP and employing 99% of the working force in the EU. However, the area where SME-s are lacking the most is the public procurement market, where as a general rule, they are consider under represented. Mainly due to the fact that larger corporations are more successful in winning government contracts. European Commission passed the „Small Business Act“ in 2011 and its main idea is to promote the new law-making principle – „think small first“. The idea behind the principle is to have all the member states to passing laws, which take the SME-s interest into consideration as the first priority and thus helping reduce the bureocracy and increasing the competitivness of the SME-s compared with bigger businesses. The aim of this thesis is to find out the main hindering facts that prevent SME-s to be as successful in government organized tenders and to promote find possible to the issues addressed. The focus of the thesis is mainly on Estonia, but also about the general trends in the EU. Based on the research, there are amongst other factors, two main reasons for the SME-s to be not as efficient in public tenders: 1) Too complicated tender procedures and the lack of e-tender systems. 2) Corruption. In order to increase the SME-s access and participation in public procurement tenders, the first things that need to be done from the institutional perspective is to have the tenders organized in a trasparent way, where the documents and other necessary requirements are publicly and openly available to all the interested parties. Thus, there is also a need for e-procurement systems, where the info help tools are readily available for the SME-s. Currently, there is already a similar system built in Estonia, but as it is still in development, the real benefits of it have still not been proved. At the same time, there are many countries within the EU that do not have the e-procurement systems developed at all. Corruption is seen as one of the most difficult issue to tackle, as it is relatively difficult to assess. Many countries have the lack of resources to have proper authorities in order to conduct surveillance on their public servants. However, corruption is not s serious concern in many countries, especially in the more developed Western and Northern European countries. Since the focus of this paper was Estonia, then it is rather clear to say that corruption is seen as a clear problem based on the findings presented in this thesis.