On December 23, 1993 the European Commission adopted the final version of its Explanatory Notice concerning the assessment of cooperative joint ventures under Article 85 of the EC Treaty. This Notice is part of a general readjustment of the Commission's competition policy with regard to cooperative joint ventures. On that same date, the Commission took a further step in this respect by adopting Regulation 151/93/EEC, which widens the scope of four of the Commission's block exemption Regulations. This article gives an explanation of the four block exemption Regulations prior to and after their amendment by Regulation 151/93/EEC, and their importance in relation to stimulating the creation of cooperative joint ventures in the European Union. As a result of the introduction of Regulation 151/93/EEC, industry will be relieved in a number of cases from the administrative burden of having to notify joint venture agreements to the Commission in order to obtain an individual exemption from the prohibition contained in Article 85(1) of the EC Treaty.