Easing eligibility rules and providing access to credit

In an effort to stimulate economic activity, and to limit constraints, national and European authorities sought to ease eligibility rules of existing aid schemes and to raise award ceilings where possible. At a European level measures included the relaxation of rules on the use of existing financial support mechanisms, such as State Aid rules and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund32. Similarly, governments have also sought to overcome the difficulties experienced by firms in raising external credit facilities, including the provision of risk capital, access to loan guarantees and other financial support instruments. Other examples of policy initiatives in this area include the easing of regulatory costs and burdens as well as the reform of administrative procedures.