Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The key objective of the JEREMIE initiative is to enable Member States and regions to employ part of their structural funds for setting financial instruments specifically designated to support micro to medium enterprises (including SMEs).

Abstract

The European Commission's Communication "Cohesion Policy in support of growth and jobs, Community Strategic Guidelines 2007-2013" refers to the need to enhance support for start-ups and micro-enterprises providing technical assistance and grants as well as non-grant instruments (venture capitals and guarantees). According to this, the Directorate General for Regional Policy (DG-REGIO), in association with other services of the European Commission together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), proposed a joint initiative to promote increased access to finance for the development of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in the regions of the EU.

The so-called 'Joint European resources for micro to medium enterprises', or simply JEREMIE initiative has been designed to create a framework for cooperation with specialised institutions such as the EIF and EIB. The implementation of the JEREMIE initiative includes two phases. The first preparatory phase involves an evaluation of the gaps between supply and demand for financial engineering in the regions and assessment of potential needs in 2006 and 2007. The EIF and the Commission will work in close cooperation with the national and regional authorities.

The second phase is the implementation of the programming actions for the period 2007-13. On the basis of the gap analysis, evaluation and proposed action plan, the next generation of operational programmes are prepared in partnerships between the authorities in the Member States and the Commission. Management authorities allocate resources from the programme to a holding fund, which could be an appropriately qualified financial institution at the national level. Provision is also made so that the managing authorities can ask the EIF to ensure the holding fund tasks when the programme allocates a grant to it. This could also ease the levering-in of additional loan capital from the EIB.

The holding fund offers organisation of calls for expressions of interest addressed to all interested intermediaries. These include venture or seed capital funds, start-ups, technology or technology transfer funds, guarantee or mutual guarantee funds, loan funds, micro credit providers and others. Depending on its expertise, the holding fund, in partnership with the managing authority, can evaluate, select and formally accredit financial intermediaries. Such accreditation will be subject to periodic review. The holding fund will provide equity, loans or guarantees, technical assistance to the accredited financial intermediaries, that is, funds and micro credit providers.

Under a funding agreement between the programme authority and the holding fund, the specified financial intermediaries can make the funds available on competitive terms to micro-, small- or medium - sized enterprises. In line with the Lisbon growth and jobs agenda, special emphasis will be allocated to support start-ups, technology transfer, technology and innovation funds, as well as micro-credit.

The JEREMIE initiative offers the management authority access to a turn-key system that can significantly simplify the complex task of improving action in this main field for European economic competitiveness. Contributions from the programmes to the holding fund for other financial engineering instruments are eligible interim payments under the European regional development fund (ERDF).
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