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Support for SMEs setting up transnational
joint ventures within the Community


Official title

"Joint European Venture" Initiative


Legal references

Commission Decision of 5 November 1997 approving a support mechanism for the creation of transnational joint ventures for SMEs in the Community (97/761/EC), OJ L 310 of 13.11.97.



JEV aims at providing support and encouragement for the development of transnational joint ventures between Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the European Union and stimulating new economic activities by these companies with the potential to create stable and viable jobs.


Target public / beneficiaries

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, which have fewer than 250 employees, have either an annual turnover not exceeding ECU 40 million or an annual balance sheets total not exceeding ECU 27 million and conform to the criterion of independence.



The Programme is implemented directly by the European Commission.

The link between the Commission and recipient enterprises is ensured by a network of "Financial Intermediaries". There has been a first selection of 19 Financial Institutions from the JOP network of Financial Intermediaries (see separate fact sheet). A new call for expressions of interest for the selection of further Financial Intermediaries will be published in the Official Journal in the beginning of February 1998.

A technical assistance unit has been set up to help project holders.



The project was launched in November 1997 and will operate until 2000. There will be no specific calls for tender, proposals can be presented at any time.


Eligible measures / nature of activities

A "joint venture" can be interpreted as any form of consortium, partnership or joint venture in the strict sense, of an industrial, service, commercial or craft nature. However the projects must meet the following conditions:

  • the objective has to be to create new economic activities, involving investment and employment creation within the Community.

  • the partners must play an active part in the joint venture and assume an adequate measure of responsibility, one partner cannot own more than 75% of the joint venture.

  • the joint venture must be newly created by at least two SMEs from two different Member States.


Nature and amount of financial support

The maximum contribution per project is 100 000 ECU covering:

  • up to 50% of the eligible expenses, in the form of a reimboursable advance, with a maximum of ECU 50 000.

  • up to 10% of the total amount of the investment made.

For 1998 the initiative has a budget of 5 MECU.

Within the context of the Extraordinary Employment Summit which took place in Luxembourg, November 1997, JEV was retained under the initiative proposed by the European Parliament. This initiative, which contains two other schemes, is planned to run for three years (1998 until 2000), with a global budget of 420 to 450 million ECU.



The SME wishing to submit an application should contact one of the financial intermediaries in the JEV network. The intermediary evaluates the application and in the event of a favourable opinion passes it on to the European Commission. The EU contribution is payed to the SME via the intermediary.


Communication supports


Additional Sources of Information

  • European Commission
    Jean-Marie Magnette, Head of Unit
    bātiment Wagner
    Plateau de Kirchberg
    L - 2920 Luxembourg
    T.: +352 4301 36261
    F.: +352 4301 36439

  • JEV Assistance Unit
    6, rue Jean Monnet
    L - 2180 Luxembourg
    T.: +352 46 70 96 / 22 36 80
    F.: +352 46 70 97


date of publication: 01/98

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