fi-compass flagship conference on regional policy financial instruments

Close to 600 participants from all across Europe joined the flagship fi-compass conference titled ‘Regional policy financial instruments ready to meet the EU challenges’, organised online by European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on 1-2 December 2020

This virtual conference offered a comprehensive and interactive programme for practitioners working or planning to work with financial instruments under shared management funds in their 2021-2027 programmes, especially the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund (CF), as well as the Just Transition Fund.

Hot topics related to financial instruments under shared management funds were discussed at the event by over 30 speakers from the European Commission, the EIB Group as well as Member State representatives from Croatia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, France, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia.

These included the Cohesion policy and the EU recovery plan, the new legislative framework under the recently agreed Common Provisions Regulation (CPR), the combination opportunities with grants under the EU Renovation Wave, ‘financial instruments friendly’ 2021-2027 programmes, the InvestEU Programme and its Member State Compartment and financial instruments supporting the sectors of SME financing and energy efficiency.

Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform, highlighted in her opening message the unique opportunities presented by the combination of the reinforced Cohesion policy and the Next Generation EU instruments, aiming to support reforms and investments in the EU at an unprecedented scale.

She underlined that financial instruments will play an important role in delivering these investments and reforms, enabling Member States to rise to the current EU challenges and create stronger and more competitive regions.

“Today we set the course for the next decade, we set the course for the new cohesion programmes, we set the course for recovery, we set the course for a new and greener future. We must focus on how to rise to the challenges, how to maximise investment and how to create stronger and more competitive regions. Financial instruments will play a key role, so this conference could not be more timely.”

Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform

Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President, EIB, confirmed in her speech the important role of financial instruments under shared management funds to help mobilise the finance needed to achieve EU’s objectives and expressed the commitment of the EIB to continue and enhance its support for Cohesion policy through its lending, mandate management and advisory activities.

“Financial instruments can ensure that ERDF and Cohesion Funds are used efficiently and effectively to help mobilise the finance needed to achieve the EU’s objective to rebuild post COVID-19 a greener, smarter and more resilient Europe.”

Lilyana Pavlova, EIB Vice-President

Simon Barnes, Head of Advisory Services, EIB, opened the sector-specific part of the conference dedicated to the EU Renovation wave and energy efficiency financial instruments, explaining how the EIB Group aims to support the objectives of the European Green Deal and sustainable development outside the European Union with view to its recently approved Climate Bank Roadmap.

The policy framework for the next EU budget period was presented further by Normunds Popens, Deputy-Director General, DG REGIO, who emphasised the necessity to explore the potential of financial instruments in different sectors, including urban development.

Financial Instruments and International Financial Institutions Unit, DG REGIO, and Frank Lee, Head of the Financial Instruments Advisory Division, EIB, closed the conference encouraging the audience to continue build the fi-compass community of financial instruments practitioners, use the support available and explore the potential for new financial instruments when preparing their 2021-2027 programmes.

In case of additional questions related to the European Commission’s presentations at the event, on the new proposed CPR and the InvestEU Programme, please contact:

REGIO-B3-FINANCIAL-INSTRUMENTS@ec.europa.eu

Recent fi-compass publications presented at the conference as helpful in the process of preparing for the next programming period are available on the #ficompass2021 page.

We encourage you as well to explore the newest fi-compass written and video case studies referring to the examples from France, Greece, Lithuania and the Netherlands featured at the conference.

These are available in the Library section of the fi-compass website.

All video recordings, presentations as well as graphic recordings of the conference proceedings are available on this conference’s page on the fi-compass website: