Press conference by Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC, on the new rules on risk finance
Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, gave a press conference on the new rules on risk finance. The EC adopted new guidelines setting out the conditions under which Member States could grant aid to facilitate access to finance by European SMEs and companies with a medium capitalization (the so-called "midcaps"). Certain SMEs and midcaps, in particular innovative and growth-oriented SMEs in their early development stages, had difficulties to get funding, independently of the quality of their business potential. State aid could help address this funding gap, not by replacing existing funding channels but by attracting fresh money into new ventures through well-designed financial instruments and fiscal measures. These guidelines were part of the Commission's State Aid Modernisation (SAM) strategy, which aimed at fostering growth in the Single Market by encouraging more effective aid measures and focusing the EC’s scrutiny on cases with the biggest impact on competition. The guidelines would enter into force on 01/07/2014.