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Abstract

Following the first European fi-compass conference on Financial instruments under the EAFRD which took place in Dublin on 23-24 June 2015, a macro-regional fi-compass seminar is being organised in Riga (29 October 2015). It follows another similar seminar in Vienna (1 October 2015). Participants can expect to further their understanding of how financial instruments can help in their efforts to deliver the objectives of the EAFRD, including in field of agriculture and agri-business.

The purpose of the seminar is:

  • to provide Member States and managing authorities with an opportunity to learn more about the advantages, features and suitability of financial instruments in delivering Rural Development Programme objectives;
  • to provide the opportunity to discuss in depth the technical challenges that the managing authorities and the Member States are facing at the moment in regards the design and set up of financial instruments; and
  • to present the range of support available from fi-compass as well as from the European Commission and European Investment Bank co-operation in general.

Participants will hear concrete examples from investors and managing authorities on the implementation of financial instruments in agriculture and rural development and the advisory and other support available from fi-compass and the EC and EIB in realising financial instruments on the ground. Strong audience interaction is foreseen through panel sessions with high-level participation, question and answer segments as well as roundtables.

The final agenda

Photo Library

Seminar: EAFRD Financial Instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Riga, 29 October 2015

Promoting financial instruments for agriculture and rural development

 

The fi-compass seminar in Riga focusing on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) highlighted the benefits of financial instruments which ensure the re-use of public funds, particularly through guarantee funds in agriculture and rural development. Participants exchanged on the importance of pinpointing the exact needs of final recipients, as well as the type and size of instruments that would address them.

Picture: Jānis Dūklavs, Minister for Agriculture of the Republic of Latvia and Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

The benefits and the possibilities of EAFRD financial instruments were stressed by the opening speeches of Commissioner Phil Hogan and Latvian Minister of Agriculture Mr Jānis Dūklavs. The key message in this seminar was the positive belief that more can be done for rural development using financial instruments, and that there is great potential in this field. Commissioner Phil Hogan stressed that agriculture is the EU’s largest employer and a stand-out success story of the European economy in the last challenging years, while several managing authorities and associations highlighted farmers’ high level of commitment to paying back their loans and creating positive spillover effects for their communities. Depending on the target group, as was shown by the case studies presented, different instruments can be applied in combination with other support mechanisms from EU or national funds.

 
Picture: Junona Bumelyte, European Investment Bank; Merle Saaliste, Ministry of Agriculture, Estonia; Bernd Schuh, Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning; Anton Asparuhov, Director, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Bulgaria; Szilvia Bencze, Ministry of Agriculture, Hungary
Over the course of the day, the practicalities of implementations, as well as lessons and tips, were described by managing authorities and financial intermediaries who have implemented, or are implementing, financial instruments for rural development. The views of farmers were expressed both by audience members and, among others, by two farmers’ associations – COPA-COGECA and the Latvian Farmers’ Parliament, who along with the audience brought a strong perspective on what is needed for farmers and final recipients generally. Three managing authorities from Bulgaria, Hungary and Estonia shared their concrete experiences of EAFRD financial instrument implementation, including the first and essential regulatory step in 2014-2020 of the ex-ante assessment. The European Commission and the European Investment Bank highlighted how fi-compass can support such instruments through methodological advice, workshops, guidance and case studies. Two support products being considered for inclusion in the 2016/7 fi-compass work programme were well received: Targeting coaching on FI for EAFRD managing authorities and networking (face to face and virtual) of their experts on financial instruments.

The fruitful discussion, among over 87 participants from 13 EU countries, highlighted the optimism of managing authorities, financial intermediaries, paying agencies, final recipients and others regarding the opportunities for financial instruments to contribute to agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020. Such a cross-section of interests underlined the importance of financial instruments for the future development of EU agriculture and rural areas.

Picture: Event participants

 

See the event’s programme below for a full set of presentations by speakers on these and other topics concerning EAFRD financial instruments.

 

Seminar: EAFRD Financial Instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Riga, 29 October 2015

Title Speakers
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Opening remarks

Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

       

Farmers’ view

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The investment needs in Europe’s agriculture and agri-food industry

Oana Neagu, COPA – COGECA

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Challenges and strategies for agriculture in Latvia

Maira Dzelzkaleja, Vice-President of Farmers’ Parliament, Latvia

       

Experiences with Guarantee Funds

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EIB group Experience in managing financial instruments under shared management and the challenges ahead

Junona Bumelyte, European Investment Bank

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Loan Guarantee Instrument for Agriculture under the EAFRD 2014-2020

Graham Cope, European Investment Fund

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The EU guarantee institutions and their value-added for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020 

Katrin Sturm, Secretary General of the European Association of Guarantee Institutions (AECM)

Tamas Lesko, Director, Rural Credit Guarantee Foundation, Hungary

       

Programming and implementation of FIs under the EAFRD 2014-20

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2014-20 EAFRD support for financial instruments in 2014-2020

Martin Scheele, Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

       

State of play of Financial Instruments in the EAFRD 2014-2020 programmes – cases from the ground

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Past and new experience with EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural businesses in Bulgaria

Anton Asparuhov, Director, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Bulgaria

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Financial instruments under the EAFRD – Addressing the financial gap in agriculture

Szilvia Bencze, Ministry of Agriculture, Hungary

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Making investment opportunities for farmers and rural businesses with EAFRD financial instruments in Estonia

Merle Saaliste, Ministry of Agriculture, Estonia 

       

Support for 2014-20 EAFRD FI implementation

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fi-compass advisory support for FIs under the EAFRD

Kieran Kearney, European Investment Bank

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Ex-ante assessment methodology for financial instruments supporting agriculture

Bernd Schuh, Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning