The European Commission today published its communication on crowdfunding, following its consultation in 2013.
The EC proposes to facilitate, rather than regulate - a strategy I wish they would adopt in most areas. Specifically, it plans to:
- establish an Expert Group on crowdfunding to provide advice and expertise to the Commission, particularly on the potential for a "quality label" to build trust with users; and promote transparency, best practices and 'certification';
- raise awareness of crowdfunding, promoting information and training as well as raising standards;
- map national regulatory and self-regulatory developments and hold regulatory workshops to ensure an 'optimal functioning of the internal market', and to assess if EU regulation is necessary;
- issue recommendations via the SME Envoy network;
- consider the possibility of matching public funds with private funds via crowdfunding channels, subject to State aid rules etc;
- support efforts to promote regulatory conver gence of approaches at international level.
There will also be two EU studies - one on how crowdfunding fits in the wider financial ecosystem and which projects use what type of crowdfunding; and another on the potential for crowdfunding to support research and innovation, which will include consider possible tax incentives.
The Commission will report on its progress during 2015.