Paper

Creating Jobs in Europe: Legal and Regulatory Frameworks of Microenterprises and Microcredit in Europe

What are the regulatory challenges to the development of microenterprises and microcredit in Europe?
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This mapping survey presents findings on the regulatory environment and existing barriers to development of microcredit, microenterprises and self-employment in all 27 Member States of the European Union. It identifies areas in which the regulatory framework can be improved in each member country.Topics covered in the survey include costs and procedures related to the creation of a microenterprise, existence of specific laws and regulations applicable to microenterprises, self-employment and microcredit, the existence of a banking monopoly, and types of institutions delivering microcredit. Conclusions include:

  • Member countries have extremely diverse situations, which is explained by microfinance’s historical roots, modes of intervention, models chosen, and measures taken in recent years;
  • Evolution of the legal and regulatory framework since 2007 is highly differentiated in the member countries;
  • Microcredit can become an important financial instrument of the new economy if microenterprises develop further;
  • Legal frameworks influence economic organizations;
  • Control and supervision of microcredit must be relatively loose and proportional to risk at this stage of its development.