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Competition Policy

Risk Finance Aid

Access to finance is essential for Europe’s start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and certain companies with a medium capitalization ("mid-caps”) to make the most of their growth potential and lead the green and digital transitions. The objective of Risk Finance aid is precisely to facilitate access to finance for such companies especially in the early stages of their development. The Risk Finance aid rules are laid down in Section 3 of the General Block Exemption Regulation and in the Risk Finance Guidelines (for aid that has to be notified to the Commission). These rules enable Member States, subject to certain conditions, to provide State aid in order to attract additional investments into the eligible undertakings through well-designed financial instruments and fiscal measures.

Risk Finance Guidelines (as from 1 January 2022)

The Market Economy Operator Test for Risk Finance Measures

Risk Finance Guidelines (2014-2021)

  • Communication from the Commission concerning the prolongation and the amendments of the Guidelines on Regional State Aid for 2014-2020, Guidelines on State Aid to Promote Risk Finance Investments, Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy 2014-2020, Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring non-financial undertakings in difficulty, Communication on the Criteria for the Analysis of the Compatibility with the Internal Market of State Aid to Promote the Execution of Important Projects of Common European Interest, Communication from the Commission - Framework for State aid for research and development and innovation and Communication from the Commission to the Member States on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to short-term export-credit insurance - OJ C 224, 8.7.2020, p. 2–4
  • Guidelines on risk finance aid for 2014-2020 - OJ C19, 22.01.2014, p. 4-34
  • Impact assessment report
  • Press release (IP/14/21, 15.01.2014) and Policy Brief (01/2014)
  • Memo: Frequently Asked Questions (MEMO/14/14, 15.01.2014)
  • Second public consultation - 24.07.2013 to 18.09.2013 (contributions are available upon request comp-webatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (comp-web[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu))
  • Meeting with MS on the draft Guidelines (13.09.2013)
  • First public consultation  - 16.07.2012 to 05.10.2012 (contributions are available upon request comp-webatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (comp-web[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu))

Risk Capital Guidelines (2006-2014)