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Abstract

The ‘Third annual EU conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020’ took place on 10 October 2017 in Paris.

The conference:

  • presented recent developments and progress made in EU Member States regarding the design and implementation of financial instruments under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD);
  • stimulated exchange and discussion on advantages, features, and the general suitability of financial instruments in delivering Rural Development Programme (RDP) objectives;
  • informed stakeholders about the fi-compass advisory platform support to Member States and managing authorities and about further support available from cooperation between the European Commission and EIB Group for agriculture and rural development.

This high-level conference was opened by Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. He was joined by Ms Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Director-General for the Economic and Environmental Performance of Enterprises, Ministry for Agriculture, France, Ms Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie region, France, Pim van Ballekom, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Pier Luigi Gilibert, Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund (EIF).

They were joined by further distinguished speakers from the European Commission, the EIB Group, EAFRD managing authorities from France and other Member States, farm unions, and the French banking sector.

Photo library

Speakers’ biographies

Third annual EU conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development, Paris, 10 October 2017

Picture: Mr Pim van Ballekom, Vice-President, European Investment Bank; Mr Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development; Ms Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Director-General for the Economic and Environmental Performance of Enterprises, Ministry of Agriculture, France; Ms Carole Delga, President, Occitanie region, France; Mr Pier Luigi Gilibert, Chief Executive, European Investment Fund

High-level attendance and intense peer exchange on financial instruments implementation at the third annual EU fi-compass conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020

Organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) this flagship fi-compass conference welcomed participants from 25 EU Member States to the ‘Third annual EU conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020’ on 10 October 2017 in Paris.

In his opening statement, Phil Hogan European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, highlighted the importance of innovation, modernisation and sustainability for European agriculture. He reminded the audience that "We need to provide farmers, agri-food operators and rural entrepreneurs with the full range of financing possibilities existing under the EAFRD, so that they are in a position to compete fairly with all other economic sectors which already benefit from cohesion policy or other EU-level financing."

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Director-General for the Economic and Environmental Performance of Enterprises, Ministry for Agriculture, France, emphasised the exemplary role of the Occitanie and Nouvelle Aquitaine regions in pioneering financial instruments for agriculture and rural development. She also underlined that the Ministry is fully supporting the regions in their pioneering role.

Picture: Mr Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

Occitanie region’s support for agriculture in the form of financial instruments was also the focus of the speech of Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie region, France. She highlighted the significance of agriculture for the regional economy and the key role played by regions in implementing financial instruments.

Pim van Ballekom, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) reviewed the merits of financial instruments in improving the efficiency of public policies for the agricultural sector by “doing more with less”. He also called for improvements in the use of financial instruments in terms of rationalisation, simplification and better complementarity between centralised and decentralised instruments. He was followed by Pier Luigi Gilibert, European Investment Fund (EIF), who also highlighted the usefulness of financial instruments as a highly effective complement to grants and subsidies and gave an overview of recent EIF involvement in setting up EAFRD financial instruments in France and Italy.

Key note speakers were joined by representatives from the farm unions and the French banking sector who gave insights into investment needs in the agricultural sector in France and other EU Member States. The European Commission, together with the EIB Group, presented financing opportunities offered by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and options for blending EFSI with EAFRD resources. The role of Omnibus in offering further possibilities of combining EFSI with EAFRD resources was highlighted.

Picture: Ms Josefine Loriz-Hoffmann, Director, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission and event participant

Furthermore, the conference featured recent developments in the use of EAFRD financial instruments in France and other Member States. Managing authorities also reported on their positive experience with targeted coaching on financial instruments for EAFRD managing authorities.

This fi-compass conference followed previous macro-regional and annual fi-compass EAFRD events that took place in Dublin, Vienna, Riga, Madrid, Rome, Warsaw, Brussels and Tallin. The next EAFRD Conference will be in Sofia.

The conference in Paris was graphically recorded and drawings from the event are included in the photo gallery. We encourage you to look at the video recordings and presentations from the speakers. A selection of additional fi-compass resources can be also found below.

The press release of the European Commission about the conference can be found here.

Third annual EU conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Paris, 10 October 2017

Title Speakers
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Opening statement

Mr Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

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Host welcome and policy statements

Ms Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Director-General for the Economic and Environmental Performance of Enterprises, Ministry for Agriculture, France

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Host welcome and policy statements

Ms Carole Delga, President, Occitanie region, France

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Introductory opening statements

Mr Pim van Ballekom, Vice-President, European Investment Bank

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Introductory opening statements

Mr Pier Luigi Gilibert, Chief Executive, European Investment Fund

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Farm unions’ views on access to capital for agriculture and farm investment needs in the EU

Mr Jean-Louis Cazaubon, Vice-chair of the COPA-COGECA Working Party on Rural Development

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Farm unions’ views on access to capital for agriculture and farm investment needs in the EU

Mr Dominique Fayel, Board member, Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d’Exploitants Agricoles (FNSEA)

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Q&A

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EAFRD Guarantee Fund in the Occitanie region, France

Mr Stéphane Molinier, Chief Executive Officer, Occitanie region, France

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EAFRD Guarantee Fund in the Occitanie region, France

Ms Cindy Schultz, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Forestry, Occitanie region, France

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EAFRD Guarantee Fund in the Occitanie region, France

Mr Nicolas Mestres, Head of Unit, Agricultural Market, Banque Populaire du Sud, France

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Starting with EAFRD financial instruments

Ms Camille Massol, Project Manager, Directorate of Agriculture, Agro-food and Sea, Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, France

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Q&A

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Financial instruments within the EAFRD in Estonia – case study video 

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Multi-regional EAFRD Guarantee Fund in Italy

Prof. Gianluca Nardone, Head of Managing Authority of the Regional Rural Development Programme Puglia, Puglia region, Italy

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Preparing for EAFRD financial instruments: lessons learned and policy vision

Ms Adela Stefan, Head of Coordination and Evaluation Unit, Managing Authority for the National Rural Development Programme, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Romania

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Preparing for EAFRD financial instruments: lessons learned and policy vision

Mr Krešimir Ivančić, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Croatia

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Preparing for EAFRD financial instruments: lessons learned and policy vision

Mr Konstantinos Apostolopoulos, Head of Evaluation and Institutional Support Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Greece

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Q&A

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EFSI for agriculture and rural development

Mr Benjamin Angel, Director Treasury and Financial Operations, DG Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission

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Combination of EAFRD resources with EFSI and other sources of finance: opportunities offered by the EIB Group

Mr Simon Barnes, Director of Advisory Services Department, European Investment Bank

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Combination of EAFRD resources with EFSI and other sources of finance: opportunities offered by the EIB Group

Mr Hubert Cottogni, Director of Mandate Management, European Investment Fund

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Financing agriculture in France

Mr Jean-Christophe Roubin, Director of Agriculture, Crédit Agricole

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Financing agriculture in France

Mr Michel Cottet, General Director, SIAGI, France

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Closing remarks

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