The European Commission Internal Market DG launched a public consultation on crowdfunding in 2013. Interested individuals and organizations were asked to comment on the growing form of finance. Recognizing the potential economic benefits of crowdfunding, the stated objective of the project was to gather data about the needs market participants and to identify the areas where there is potential added value in EU action. The commission wants to encourage growth either through “facilitative, soft-law measures or legislative action”. Crowdfunding portal operators were encouraged to respond to the consultation.
The official consultation closed on December 31, 2013 but a compilation of the comments, expected to be publicly available on the internet, are schedule to be published in this coming March according to an EU spokesperson.
The consultation covers all forms of crowdfunding ranging from donations based and rewards based crowdfunding to all aspects of investment crowdfunding.
While many European countries have moved forward with regulating crowdfunding, Europe still struggles with the cross border disparities which impede potential investments in crowdfunding enterprises. The European Crowdfunding Network has been at the forefront of advocating a more unified regulatory policy to boost utilization and minimize national idiosyncrasies which may stymie the potential economic impact of fostering entrepreneurs and startup companies.
“…this alternative form of fundraising that is collective, participatory and interactive – is becoming increasingly important. It has the potential to bridge the financing gap many start-ups face and to stimulate entrepreneurship. Considering the development of crowdfunding and the diversity of regulatory, supervisory, fiscal and social frameworks for it across the EU, do we need a single European framework to support both those who develop crowdfunding platforms and to reduce the risks to those who make use of such platforms to finance projects. That is what I am asking.”