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Abstract

The sixth macro-regional conference on financial instruments under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) was organised by fi-compass on 12 July 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia.

The conference:

  • addressed recent policy developments concerning EAFRD financial instruments;
  • showcased examples of successful implementation of financial instruments under the EAFRD in different member states;
  • discussed the Investment Plan for Europe in the context of agriculture and rural development;
  • informed stakeholders about the fi-compass advisory platform supporting Member States and managing authorities, as well as additional support in the field of agriculture and rural development from the European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group.

The conference was opened by Josefine Loriz-Hoffmann, Director, DG AGRI, European Commission, Marko Gorban, Deputy Secretary General for Agricultural and Rural Life Policies, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Frank Lee, Head of Financial Instruments Advisory Division, EIB, and Alessandro Gargani, European Investment Fund (EIF).

Further distinguished speakers gave insights into the European and especially the Estonian farming sector and highlighted recent and expected developments regarding the use of financial instruments in agriculture and rural development in Estonia and other Member States.

Photo library

Macro-regional conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Tallinn, 12 July 2017

The sixth macro-regional fi-compass conference on financial instruments under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) on 12 July 2017 in Tallinn attracted many participants to Estonia, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Picture: Mr Michael Pielke, Head of Unit, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission; Mr Alessandro Gargani, European Investment Fund; Ms Josefine Loriz-Hoffmann, Director, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission; Mr Frank Lee, Head of Financial Instruments Advisory Division, European Investment Bank; Mr Marko Gorban, Deputy Secretary General for Agricultural and Rural Life Policies, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU

The event was opened by Josefine Loriz-Hoffmann, Director, DG Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI), European Commission, Marko Gorban, Deputy Secretary General for Agricultural and Rural Life Policies, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Frank Lee, Head of Financial Instruments Advisory Division, European Investment Bank (EIB) and Alessandro Gargani, European Investment Fund (EIF). Josefine Loriz-Hoffmann highlighted what has already been achieved and what is to be expected regarding the implementation of EAFRD financial instruments and recent policy developments in the field. Marko Gorban gave an outlook on the main policy areas the Estonian Presidency will be focusing on concerning the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and financial instruments. Frank Lee presented EIB activities in the area of agri-business and highlighted two recent projects the EIB provides direct lending to. Alessandro Gargani welcomed the audience on behalf of the EIF and gave an overview of EIF activities in the bioeconomy and agricultural sector.

Agricultural representatives Oana Neagu from COPA-COGECA and Roomet Sõrmus from the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce presented their views on the future of CAP, investment needs in agriculture and the role of financial instruments for agriculture and rural development.

The conference turned the spotlights on the financial instruments pioneer Estonia. Estonia is the first country having set up an EAFRD financial instrument in the current period. Merle Saaliste, representing Estonia’s EAFRD managing authority, highlighted the importance of simplification with financial instruments that support farmers and rural businesses. Estonian project promotors who benefited from EAFRD financial instruments in Estonia as final recipients, Katrin Noorkõiv from Luha Lihatööstus OÜ and Richard Tomingas from Forestplanter OÜ, reported on their experience with financial instruments. Representing Estonian financial intermediaries, Madis Reinup from the Estonian Rural Development Foundation and Jarmo Liiver from KredEx highlighted specific needs and conditions for rural development finance, as well as the benefits offered by financial instruments for reducing existing gaps in availability of funding from the market.

Picture: Mr Jarmo Liiver, Head of Enterprise division, KredEx, Estonia; Mr Madis Reinup, Member of the Board, Rural Development Foundation, Estonia; Mr Richard Tomingas, Forestplanter OÜ, Estonia; Ms Katrin Noorkõiv, Luha Lihatööstus OÜ, Estonia; Ms Merle Saaliste, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Estonia; Ms Cathy Smith, fi-compass expert

Participants had also the opportunity to hear about practical experiences in setting up and implementing financial instruments under the EAFRD from managing authorities from Slovenia and the Veneto Region, Italy. Tanja Gorišek from the EAFRD managing authority in Slovenia underlined the usefulness of support on technical implementation such as the targeted coaching offered by the European Commission and the EIB through fi-compass. Giuseppe Pan, Regional Minister for Agriculture and Fishery, and Mauro Trapani from the Italian Veneto Region presented their experience of using a multi-regional guarantee platform for agriculture that ensures favourable conditions for borrowers by providing capital relief and loss protection to banks.

Michael Pielke from the European Commission, DG AGRI, reported on recent policy developments and the development of financial instruments under the EAFRD.

Laure Blanchard-Brunac, representing the European Commission’s Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN), presented the state of play for the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the European Investment Project Portal (EIPP). She also highlighted the outlook for EFSI 2.0 which should include a dedicated key area for agriculture and bioeconomy and an increased firepower with the objective of mobilising at least EUR 500 billion of investment by the end of 2020.

Picture: Q&A and discussion

Nivelin Noev from the European Commission, DG AGRI, and Mario Guido from the EIB presented the support available to EAFRD managing authorities and used the opportunity to encourage managing authorities to request targeted coaching and to make use of the full spectrum of fi-compass support.

In her closing remarks, Josefine Loriz-Hoffmann reminded participants that now was a good moment to start with preparatory work for the setting-up of an EAFRD financial instrument as there was still a lot of support available from the EIB and EIF. She also invited participants to attend the 3rd Annual EAFRD Conference on 10 October 2017 in Paris. Details about this event will be published soon on the fi-compass website.

This macro-regional conference followed previous macro-regional and annual fi-compass EAFRD events that took place in Dublin, Vienna, Riga, Madrid, Rome, Warsaw and Brussels.

The conference in Tallinn was graphically recorded and the drawings from the event are included in the photo gallery in the left column of this webpage. We encourage you also to take a look at the video recordings and uploaded presentations from all speakers. Further below you can find a selection of relevant fi-compass resources.

Macro-regional conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Tallinn, 12 July 2017

Title Speakers
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Welcomes and introductions

Ms Josefine Loriz-Hoffmann, Director, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

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Welcomes and introductions

Mr Marko Gorban, Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU

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Welcomes and introductions

Mr Frank Lee, Head of Financial Instruments Advisory Division, European Investment Bank

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Welcomes and introductions

Mr Alessandro Gargani, European Investment Fund

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COPA-COGECA's view on CAP and the investment needs in agriculture

Ms Oana Neagu, Director General Affairs, COPA – COGECA

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Estonian farmers’ view on CAP and the investment needs in agriculture

Mr Roomet Sõrmus, Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce

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Q&A

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Estonian EAFRD Loan Fund – State of play and outlook

Ms Merle Saaliste, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Estonia

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Investments and economic development in Estonian agriculture

Ms Katrin Noorkõiv, Luha Lihatööstus OÜ, Estonia

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Investments and economic development in Estonian agriculture

Mr Richard Tomingas, Forestplanter OÜ, Estonia

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Guarantee support for Estonian agriculture

Mr Madis Reinup, Member of the Board, Rural Development Foundation, Estonia

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KredEx guarantee support for agri-food processing and forestry businesses

Mr Jarmo Liiver, Head of Enterprise division, KredEx, Estonia

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Q&A

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Financial instruments in the current programming period and future reflections

Mr Michael Pielke, Head of Unit, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

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Multi-regional EAFRD Guarantee Fund in Italy

Mr Giuseppe Pan, Regional Minister for Agriculture and Fishery, Regione Veneto, Italy

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Multi-regional EAFRD Guarantee Fund in Italy

Mr Giuseppe Pan, Regional Minister for Agriculture and Fishery, Regione Veneto, Italy
Mr Mauro Trapani, Director for Economic and Rural Development, Regione Veneto, Italy
Mr Alessandro Gargani, European Investment Fund

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Preparatory work for the setting-up of an EAFRD financial instrument in Slovenia

Ms Tanja Gorišek, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Slovenia

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EFSI support, agriculture and rural development: state of play and showcases on the European Investment Project Portal – what’s new and what to expect

Ms Laure Blanchard-Brunac, DG Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission

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Q&A

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Final results from the study on programming EAFRD financial instruments in 2014-2020

Mr Bernd Schuh, ÖIR, Austria

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First takeaways from fi-compass EAFRD study activity: reflections for the future

Mr Mario Guido, European Investment Bank

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Role of EIB (fi-compass) in supporting EAFRD financial instruments: current and new activities

Dr Nivelin Noev, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

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Q&A

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Closing remarks

Ms Josefine Loriz-Hoffmann, Director, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission