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Abstract

A macro-regional fi-compass seminar on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020 was organised in Madrid on 31 May 2016.

Opened by Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director-General at the European Commission’s DG Agriculture and Rural Development, the seminar provided insight on how financial instruments can be effectively used to deliver the objectives of the EAFRD, notably in the field of agriculture and agribusiness.

In Madrid, participants and managing authorities from several Member States had the opportunity to learn more about the advantages, features and suitability of EAFRD financial instruments in delivering Rural Development Programme objectives.

The technical challenges that the managing authorities and the Member States are facing whilst setting up financial instruments were discussed in depth. In this context, the whole range of support available from fi-compass, as well as from the European Commission and European Investment Bank co-operation in general, was presented to the audience.

In practically oriented presentations and panel discussions, the participants were shown concrete examples from investors and managing authorities on the implementation of financial instruments in the fields of agriculture and rural development as well as on advisory and other support available from fi-compass and the EC, EIB and EIF in applying financial instruments on the ground.

Panel sessions with high-level participation, question and answer sessions, and roundtables allowed for a strong interaction among the attendees.

The final agenda is available for download  

Photo Library

Event Video

EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Madrid, 31 May 2016

Picture: Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director-General, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

The potential for financial instruments to provide a major boost to future investment in the EU agricultural sector was highlighted by a range of speakers at a fi-compass macro-regional seminar in Madrid on 31 May. Around 100 participants from more than 10 Member States took part in lively exchanges on the use of financial instruments supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), such as loans and guarantees, for agriculture and rural businesses.

Opening the event, Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director-General at the European Commission’s DG Agriculture and Rural Development, told the audience, "We need to offer all our stakeholders a full range of support under the Rural Development Programmes, including improved access to funding. I believe that an intelligent and strategic mix of financial instruments can not only deliver funding where it is needed, notably by attracting additional private capital, but also help to reduce budget pressures. Financial instruments can be tailored to farmers' needs and I think that existing models and EU Rural Development funding rules provide sufficient flexibility to adapt projects to specific needs."

Picture: Begoña Nieto Gilarte, Director General of Rural Development and Forestry Policy, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Spain

His views were echoed by Begoña Nieto Gilarte and Antonio Flores Lorenzo from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, outlining the Spanish approach towards financial instruments. The farmers’ views were expressed by Sofia Björnsson, Chairwoman of the COPA - COGECA Working Party on Rural Development and Tomás Rojas Pacheco, Financial Director of the Spanish farm unions.

Picture: Event participants

New opportunities

The seminar, which also showcased examples from Estonia, Hungary and Romania, gathered experts from the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund and the European Commission, who also contributed to the discussions. The Madrid seminar furthermore provided insight e.g. in the state of play of EAFRD financial instruments and their novelties compared to the past, as elaborated by Nivelin Noev and Gregorio Davila Diaz from the European Commission's DG Agriculture and Rural Development.

New opportunities are numerous and include an increased scope of financial instruments, updated renewable energy requirements, a greater choice of Fund managers and financial instrument structures, as well as the possibility to combine EAFRD financial instruments with other means like the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

The Madrid conference followed similar events, which took place last year in Dublin, Vienna and Riga, where more than 450 participants gathered and shared their experience and knowledge. It will be followed by another macro-regional event in Rome on 13 June 2016, as well as the second European conference on financial instruments under the EAFRD, which will take place in Brussels on 25 November 2016.

EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Madrid, 31 May 2016

Title Speakers
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Opening remarks

Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director-General, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

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Opening remarks

Begoña Nieto Gilarte, Director General of Rural Development and Forestry Policy, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Spain

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Experience implementing financial instruments for agriculture

Antonio Flores Lorenzo, Deputy Director General for Fostering the Development of Rural Areas, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Spain

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Q&A Session

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The investment needs of farmers in the EU and the EU agro-food industry

Sofia Björnsson, Chairwoman of the Working party on Rural Development, COPA - COGECA

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Investment needs in Spanish agriculture

Tomás Rojas Pacheco, Finance Director of Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España

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The EU guarantee institutions and their value-added for agriculture and rural development

Carlos Oliveira, Agrogarante (Member of AECM - European Association of Guarantee Institutions)

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Financing needs of the farming sector

Ángel Espinosa Merino, Director Banca de Empresas, Banco Cooperativo Español, S.A.

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Q&A Session

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EAFRD support for financial instruments – state of play and what is new compared to the past

Nivelin Noev, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

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Q&A Session

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Off-the-shelf financial instruments and links between EAFRD financial instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)

Gregorio Davila Diaz, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

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Q&A Session

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Role of the European Investment Bank Group in supporting EAFRD financial instruments

Luis Cañete, European Investment Bank

Guadalupe de la Mata, European Investment Fund

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Q&A Session

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Relevant cases from EAFRD 2014-2020 programmes and beyond

Merle Saaliste, Ministry of Agriculture, Estonia

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Relevant cases from EAFRD 2014-2020 programmes and beyond

Györgyi Nyikos, Hungarian Development Bank

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Q&A Session

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Relevant cases from EAFRD 2014-2020 programmes and beyond

Dana Zachi, Romanian Agricultural Guarantee Fund

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Q&A Session

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fi-compass support for EAFRD managing authorities

Bruno Robino, European Investment Bank

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fi-compass support for EAFRD managing authorities

Kieran Kearney, European Investment Bank

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Q&A Session

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Closing remarks

Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director-General, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission