On 3 October 2013, the European Commission published a consultation paper on crowdfunding in the EU. Crowdfunding is an emerging alternative form of financing for businesses or projects which connects those seeking financing with those who can, and wish to, invest, lend or give money. Crowdfunding campaigns typically involve open calls to the public for funds and are usually conducted through the internet on crowdfunding platforms.
Through the consultation process, the Commission is exploring how EU action could promote crowdfunding in Europe, if at all. The paper produced by the Commission is, on the whole, very positive about crowdfunding as an emerging form of financing, detailing the many benefits and opportunities that crowdfunding presents, for the economy, those seeking funds and contributors alike. It also flags some of the risks and challenges that are currently inherent to the process and may need to be addressed in due course.
Whilst not going into any detail as to possible future courses of action to be taken by the EU, the paper explains that the Commission will consider both soft measures (such as awareness raising, public funding and coordination of self-regulatory or national regulatory best practices) together with more formal regulatory measures if deemed useful and appropriate.
The consultation paper can be found here.
It invites responses from anyone who has an opinion on crowdfunding and closes on 31 December 2013. Responses can be submitted via an online questionnaire which can be found here.