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be an important tool for boosting EU agriculture.
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Investments, in a variety of forms, will help create a modern, dynamic agri-food
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Features and News

August 2017
03.08.2017 Dutch financial instrument promotes high-tech business innovation

A new fi‑compass case study shows how a financial instrument from the Eastern Netherlands has used European Regional Development Fund assistance to support innovation investments by small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs).

This 'Innovation Fund East Netherlands' was designed to help improve access to finance for the region's most promising entrepreneurs during the global economic crisis.

The fund manager, Participatiemaatschappij Oost (PPM...

03.08.2017 Financial instruments workshop at 'The European Week of Regions and Cities'

In the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities, the European Commission's Directorate‑General for Regional and Urban Policy is organising a workshop titled: 'Financial Instrument as a delivery mechanism for ESIF post 2020'. This workshop will contribute to the debate on the role of financial instruments in delivering cohesion policy in post 2020. 

June 2017
29.06.2017 Online advice about reporting requirements for financial instruments

Practical advice for managing authorities about financial instrument reporting requirements have been provided recently through a new type of advisory service from fi‑compass.

In our online learning seminar, European Commission experts explained how to fulfil the mandatory reporting obligations required under Article 46 of the Common Provisions Regulation (No 1303/2013, CPR), using video presentations and a series of step‑by‑step instructions based...

29.06.2017 Financial instruments for fisheries and aquaculture

Fisheries financial instruments will be given prominence during an EU conference in October that is considering the future of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. A dedicated workshop on financial instruments has been organised in Estonia on October 13 as part of the 'Beyond 2020: Supporting Europe's Coastal Communities' conference. 

26.06.2017 Personal loans and social entrepreneurship: new language versions of fi-compass factsheets

French, German, Italian, and Spanish language versions are now available of our fi-compass factsheets about 'Financial instruments working with personal loans' and 'Financial instruments working with social entrepreneurship'. Download and share these new publications from the fi-compass website library at:

20.06.2017 Advance notice: 'FI Campus' flagship event from fi-compass

New learning opportunities about financial instruments using the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are being planned by fi‑compass for later this year. These include a large‑scale event spanning over several days that will cover a wide range of topics related to ESIF financial instruments.

20.06.2017 Microcredit providers meet in Venice

Capacity building workshops for EU microcredit providers (MCPs) were organised in June by fi‑compass using the European Commission's Employment and Social Innovation Programme's Technical Assistance (EaSI TA). MCPs from across the EU and elsewhere came together in Venice for these EaSI TA workshops as part of the European Microfinance Network's 14th annual conference.

EaSI TA workshop sessions provided an opportunity for the MCPs to share their experiences with...

20.06.2017 Agricultural Multi-Regional Guarantee Platform launched for Italian farmers

Italy is establishing an innovative 'Agricultural Multi‑Regional Guarantee Platform' as a ground‑breaking new financial instrument investing initially EUR 68 million from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and national co‑financing resources.

20.06.2017 Raising awareness about Europe's venture capital landscape

Venture capital can be defined as a subset of private equity that is co‑invested with an entrepreneur to fund a business venture, normally during its early‑stage (seed or start‑up) and expansion phases. Higher‑than‑average returns on such investments tend to be expected by venture capitalists and investors in order to offset higher risk in these investments.

20.06.2017 Investing in low carbon economies: Lessons from the London Green Fund

Our fi‑compass publications library includes a case study from the London Green Fund (LGF). It explains how this financial instrument used the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to...

20.06.2017 Rural development loans, guarantees and equity under the spotlight in Estonia

Estonia, currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, hosted our sixth EAFRD fi‑compass macro‑regional conference on financial instruments for agriculture and rural businesses, supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). In total, 85 participants from 17 different Member States attended the conference on 12 July 2017 in Tallinn.

01.06.2017 European Social Fund financial instruments supporting self-employment and entrepreneurship

Vienna saw the first thematic fi‑compass workshop on European Social Fund (ESF) financial instruments supporting self‑employment and entrepreneurship under Thematic Objective 8. This full day workshop was attended by representatives from ESF managing authorities, financial intermediaries, and other stakeholders from across the EU.

May 2017
30.05.2017 European Commission reporting template for financial instruments – online learning for managing authorities

All managing authorities using European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are required by Article 46 of the Common Provisions Regulation (No 1303/2013, CPR) to send the European Commission a specific report covering their operations comprising ESIF financial instruments. Implementing Regulation (EU) No 821/2014 includes further details on the reporting obligations.

16.05.2017 The EaSI Helpdesk on microfinance is live

The European Commission in the frame of its Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) Programme has launched a fully renovated Helpdesk, which will assist all institutions interested in European microfinance.

The service is addressed to microfinance providers and guarantee institutions, public and private banks, local and regional authorities, networks, business incubators and research centres from EU Member States, Candidate and Potential Candidate countries, and EFTA countries.

12.05.2017 State aid guidance for financial instruments is now available from the European Commission

When Member States give aid through financial instruments (co-)financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds, compliance with State aid rules is necessary in order to encourage economic efficiency and prevent that public support unduly distorts competition.

12.05.2017 Second Call for EaSI Technical Assistance to the European microcredit sector

The EaSI Technical Assistance (EaSI TA) is launching a second Call for Expression of Interest with the goal of identifying and selecting up to 34 European microcredit providers that will benefit from EaSI Technical Assistance services. 

03.05.2017 Latest microfinance advisory news from EaSI TA

See the latest microfinance advisory news from EaSI TA, including success stories about the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision, at https://goo.gl/2537bl. Other new briefing information has been released recently by the European Commission concerning the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit...

April 2017
06.04.2017 Action planning for financial instrument life cycles: new fi-compass advisory video

A newly released fi-compass video explains how to successfully plan financial instruments that use the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds. This new video from fi-compass provides a summary of the fi-compass publication entitled 'Developing an Action Plan'. It follows a step-by-step approach along the four main life cycle stages of a financial instrument: design, set-up, implementation, and winding-up.

06.04.2017 New ex-ante assessments featured on fi-compass website

Member States and regions continue to advance with the set-up and implementation of financial instruments co-funded by the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds. Ex-ante assessments for these financial instruments have been completed for a wide range of different ESI Fund financial instruments and fi-compass is collating information that has been published about these ex-ante assessments in a new section on our website.

06.04.2017 Perspectives from France’s CAP 3RI investment platform

Member States and regions can make use of financial instruments within 'investment platforms' that combine the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) alongside the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and national, regional and private finance. An example of how such an investment platform can work in practice is explained by the fi-compass 'Third Industrial Revolution' case study from Northern France. This ERDF financial instrument, operating in the Nord-Pas de Calais...

06.04.2017 Support from Interreg Europe for projects related to financial instruments

Interreg Europe funding is available for local, regional and national public authorities throughout Europe to develop and deliver better policy by sharing solutions with each other.

06.04.2017 Presidency points of view from Malta

Malta currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and fi-compass spoke to Maltese stakeholders about their experiences with using EU-funded financial instruments. 

Jonathan Vassallo is the Director General of Malta's managing authority for the European Structural and Investment Funds and the SME Initiative. He notes how: "When one considers the success that the implementation of financial instruments had in the 2007-2013 period, there...

06.04.2017 EAFRD managing authorities and rural development policy benefits from fi-compass

Implementing financial instruments requires specific knowledge. With the support of fi-compass, managing authorities of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and rural development stakeholders have a possibility to establish the necessary foundations for any future activity in this policy area.

06.04.2017 fi-compass seminar showcases financial instruments supporting urban and rural business investments

On 14 March a fi-compass seminar took place in Brussels focused on financial instruments under Thematic Objective 3 (TO3) ‘Enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium–sized enterprises (SMEs)’. This event was organised to promote knowledge sharing between representatives of managing authorities and intermediate bodies about their experiences with designing, setting up and implementing financial instruments which support SME competitiveness.

06.04.2017 New advisory services for European Social Fund financial instruments

The fi-compass European Social Fund (ESF) work stream has recently published new language versions of the handbook on using ESF financial instruments for promoting inclusion, sustainable jobs and better education. French, German, Italian and Spanish language versions (in addition to the original English version) of this handbook are now available for downloading and sharing through the fi-compass website’s Resource Library.

March 2017
22.03.2017 Slovenian financial instrument offers integrated package of business support sources

Slovenia's experiences with a financial instrument that offered investment support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), with the corresponding national co-financing shares, are the subject of a newly-published fi-compass case study. This Slovenian 'Programme of Financial Engineering Instruments for SMEs' was designed by the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (in its capacity as managing authority) during...

10.03.2017 First fi-compass microfinance workshop in Serbia

Our first fi-compass EaSI TA workshop in Serbia will be held next week on 14 March 2017 in Belgrade. Organised with close cooperation of AgroInvest (one of Serbia’s three non-bank microcredit institutions) this workshop is titled: 'Making it happen for small entrepreneurs – Microfinance!' and its objective centres on the explanation, organisation and promotion of microfinance opportunities for Serbia. Workshop timing coincides with crucial changes being considered in the country's...

06.03.2017 European microfinance institutions start to be certified under the European Code of Good Conduct

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have started to receive certification for compliance with the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision (referred to as 'the Code'). The first of these was the Dutch MFI Qredits and new announcements are set to follow soon about additional MFI certifications.

February 2017
15.02.2017 European Social Fund provides mezzanine capital for Germany

A German case study from fi-compass shows how the European Social Fund (ESF) can be used to co-finance quasi equity, or mezzanine capital, investments for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This financial instrument (titled: Mikromezzaninfonds and translated to: micro-mezzanine funds) was set-up under the 2007-2013 national level ESF Operational Programme (OP). It is being continued during the current 2014-2020 period and...

09.02.2017 Investments in innovative Bulgarian start-ups

As part of its support for stakeholders involved with financial instruments using the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), fi-compass has produced a case study on the 'JEREMIE Acceleration and Seed Instrument in Bulgaria'.

01.02.2017 Danish success with a European Social Fund financial instrument

European Social Fund (ESF) experiences from Denmark are featured in a fi-compass case study about the Central Denmark Entrepreneurship Fund (Midtjysk Iværksætterfond - MIF). This financial instrument provided loans, equity, quasi equity, and business coaching for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) during their early development.

January 2017
26.01.2017 Slovak ex-ante assessment covers five Operational Programmes

A fi-compass case study has been published recently showing how Slovakia managed the complex process of completing a combined ex-ante assessment for financial instruments within five Operational Programmes (OPs).  

19.01.2017 Financial instruments support credit for Italian cooperatives

A European Social Fund (ESF) case study from fi-compass explains Italian experience with a financial instrument in Lombardy supporting social cooperatives and social inclusion for disadvantaged people. By combining public and private resources, the financial instrument provided microloans totalling € 31.4 million to 7 850 individuals. These in turn invested in the capital of 526 social cooperatives.

13.01.2017 Microcredit for credit guarantee institutions in Italy: fi-compass EaSI TA workshop

The first fi-compass workshop for 2017 under the Employment and Social Innovation programme's Technical Assistance service for microfinance (EaSI TA) will take place in Milan next week on Wednesday January 18th. This fi-compass EaSI TA workshop is focused on helping credit guarantee institutions and other financial intermediaries to become microcredit providers. Special attention will be paid by increasing participants' understanding about accessing technical and financial...

13.01.2017 Scottish ex-ante assessment confirms the potential of financial instruments support

A fi-compass case study from Scotland explains the managing authority's experiences during an ex‑ante assessment for financial instruments under the 2014‑2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Operational Programme (OP). The assessment helped to facilitate evidence-based decision‑making by the managing authority regarding possible design and set-up stages for ERDF financial instruments.

12.01.2017 Financial instruments support for Polish entrepreneurs

Creating new jobs and entrepreneurship through financial instruments in Poland is the focus of a fi-compass case study featuring the European Social Fund.

December 2016
21.12.2016 Outreach services from fi-compass: Social Platform and European Microfinance Network seminars

Outreach services from fi-compass include our experts participating at external events to present information about financial instruments that use the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Recent examples of these outreach services includes fi-compass contributions during the Committee of the Regions' European Week of Regions and Cities and Mass Open Online Course (MOOC) about the EU budget and funding for regions and cities. European Social Fund (ESF)...

21.12.2016 Towards a low carbon economy – support for Member States and regions

Learning resources provided by fi-compass are designed to help managing authorities and other stakeholders involved in implementing financial instruments through the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). This includes specific fi-compass resources designed for financial instruments that focus on ESIF ‘Thematic Objective 4’ (TO4), supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy in all sectors. Energy efficiency measures can play a key role in this shift because...

21.12.2016 Helping Member States and regions to enhance the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises

In the 2014-2020 programming period, the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are supporting 11 thematic objectives and financial instruments can be used in all of them. fi-compass provides a range of learning resources for managing authorities and other stakeholders involved in...

21.12.2016 First data on implementation of 2014-2020 financial instruments published

The European Commission has published the first summaries of data on financial instruments in the 2014-2020 period. They provide first insights into the progress in setting up financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) covering the years 2014 and 2015.

21.12.2016 New fi-compass case studies published

A collection of 13 new fi-compass publications have been released recently featuring case study information about loans, guarantees and equity investments supported by the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds.

21.12.2016 Participant perspectives from the fi-compass ESF seminar in Rome

fi-compass organised a special advisory seminar for European Social Fund (ESF) managing authorities in Italy on 1 December 2016 and this article provides an overview of participant perceptions about topics covered during the seminar. Topics included information about...

19.12.2016 Start-up finance supports innovation in France's food sector

Examples of effective results from Member States' revolving funds include the seed finance provided to two French firms in Languedoc-Roussillon, now part of France's Occitanie region, both of which were supported by CREALIA, an investment platform specialising in finance for innovative companies.

12.12.2016 Europe's first rural development financial instrument for 2014-2020: new fi-compass case study

A new fi-compass case study from Estonia showcases Europe's first rural development financial instrument for the 2014-2020 programming period.

09.12.2016 New EU investment initiative to boost financing for the rural economy

A new EU financing initiative for Europe's rural economy was launched in November at the 'Second EU fi-compass conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020'. This new initiative is aiming to combine finance from the Member States' Rural Development Programme funds (EAFRD) and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), the core of the Juncker Commission's Investment Plan for Europe.

07.12.2016 Filling gaps in agricultural and rural finance: new animated film released by fi-compass

A new video from fi-compass has been produced to help Member States' managing authorities move forward with using the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for revolving financial instruments.

05.12.2016 ADIE microcredits for social inclusion

A recently published case study from fi-compass highlights how financial instruments were used to support local entrepreneurship in the former Champagne‑Ardenne region of France.

02.12.2016 First EaSI TA workshop on EU Instruments for microfinance in Sofia, Bulgaria: November 10 2016

Our fi-compass support for EU microfinance stakeholders included organising a workshop in Bulgaria recently through the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation Technical Assistance (EaSI TA).

01.12.2016 New fi-compass feasibility study: market responsive financial instruments for agriculture

See the interim findings from an agricultural study by fi-compass about the role that financial instruments supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development could play in reducing the impact of price volatility.

November 2016
30.11.2016 Improving credit conditions for Estonia's fisheries and aquaculture sector

See this news article for insight into what's involved with setting up a financial instrument for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

30.11.2016 New language versions online of fi-compass microfinance factsheet

Our fi-compass factsheet about financial instruments working with microfinance is now available in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and English languages at: www.fi-compass.eu/publication/brochures-factsheets/factsheet-financial-instruments-working-microfinance

29.11.2016 Social inclusion through a financial instrument in Marche - Italy

A new case study featuring European Social Fund experience with financial instruments in Italy has been published by fi-compass.

28.11.2016 Financial instruments for agriculture and rural development: fi-compass macro-regional conference in Warsaw

Financial instruments using the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) were the focus of a macro-regional fi-compass conference in Warsaw recently. 

25.11.2016 LIVE streaming: Second EU fi-compass conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020, Brussels, 25 November 2016

Live stream here.

18.11.2016 Filling financing gaps for small and medium-sized enterprises in southern Belgium

fi-compass has released a new case study showing how a loan fund co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund can help address risk aversion among lenders towards small and medium-sized enterprises. This case study's financial instrument operated during the 2007-2013 period in Belgium's Wallonian province of Liège.

17.11.2016 Cooperation brings high uptake of business loans in Extremadura

A new fi-compass case study features a Spanish financial instrument that was set up towards the end of the 2007-2013 period with co-funding from the Extremadura regional Operational Programme.

08.11.2016 Workshop on EU instruments for microfinance in Sofia, Bulgaria

The Bulgarian association of credit cooperatives and microfinance organisations (BACCOM) together with fi-compass is organising the first EaSI TA workshop on EU instruments for microfinance in Bulgaria on November 10th 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

October 2016
26.10.2016 Microfinance news from fi-compass

Recent news from fi-compass featuring our support for the European microfinance sector includes:

19.10.2016 Targeted coaching services for Rural Development Programmes by fi-compass

Financial instruments using the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) represent useful opportunities to enhance the range of financial services that are available for Europe's agriculture, agri-food sector and the rural economy. Fi-compass is providing targeted coaching services for EAFRD managing authorities to help facilitate this process.

19.10.2016 EC annual summary of data reinforces the potential of financial instruments in implementing Cohesion Policy

By the end of 2015, a total of almost EUR 16.9 billion of 2007-2013 Operational Programme (OP) resources was paid to more than 1000 financial instruments, of which around 75% was disbursed to final recipients, creating an estimated 140 000 jobs. These new figures covering the period up to the end of 2015 are available in the latest annual summary of data on the 2007-2013 financial engineering instruments by the European Commission.

19.10.2016 Selection of bodies implementing financial instruments: fi-compass event series continues

A new round of knowledge sharing events is underway through fi-compass to help Member States and regions implement financial instruments. These include an event dedicated to Commission guidance, and also a series of seminars with thematic focus, such as those for revolving funds supporting energy efficiency investments or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Other events in the fi-compass pipeline will feature advice about agricultural instruments as well as microfinance.

19.10.2016 New advisory services from fi-compass

The new 2016-2018 work programme has been launched by fi-compass. The new advisory services build on the achievements of the first fi-compass work programme, which include a successful series of capacity building events and the publication of many new learning resources about European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) financial instruments, as well as the continuation of the Employment and Social Innovation programme technical assistance (EaSI TA).

11.10.2016 Microfinance in action: a practitioner's perspective from France 

Helping Member States and their regions to advance with microfinance is an important part of fi-compass activity. This includes providing advisory services on microfinance and social entrepreneurship ...

10.10.2016 New factsheet on Personal Loans published by fi-compass

A new fi-compass advisory publication explains how financial instruments can support Member State objectives for inclusion and employment. This factsheet, ‘Financial instruments working with personal loans’, is now available for downloading and sharing via the fi-compass website.

07.10.2016 Two EaSI TA Workshops during the 3rd European Microfinance Forum, 19-21 October 2016, Rome

The 3rd European Microfinance Forum (3rd EMF) will provide public institutions, private sector operators and non-profit organisations with a new opportunity to debate and share views from their various qualified perspectives on economic and social development and credit access.

01.10.2016 New fi-compass case studies available soon

A number of new case studies will soon be published by fi-compass. These include information and experiences from financial instruments using the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).

September 2016
19.09.2016 More microfinance advice from fi-compass for European microcredit providers

Advisory work provided by fi-compass EaSI TA continues with a workshop in Skopje, FYROM, on 22-23 September.  This workshop is being arranged as part of the Alliance of Microfinance Organisations' first Regional Microfinance Forum, and fi-compass support will complement the Forum's overall aims for microfinance and financial inclusion.

08.09.2016 Nine new microcredit providers to benefit from fi-compass EaSI TA

Under the second Call for Technical Assistance from the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI TA) Programme, which opened several months ago, nine European Microcredit Providers (MCPs) from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Romania have been selected to benefit from technical assistance. These MCPs can opt to receive microfinance institutional rating and tailor-made technical assistance to improve the quality of their operations under the EaSI TA framework. 

August 2016
31.08.2016 'Microfinance in the Cloud’ conference

More than 380 participants attended the Microfinance in the Cloud conference from over 40 countries in Europe and Central Asia. This international audience was able to benefit from fi-compass expertise provided through the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation Technical Assistance (EaSI TA).

25.08.2016 European microfinance in the spotlight

Microfinance expertise from fi-compass was involved in five knowledge sharing sessions at the European Microfinance Network (EMN) Annual Conference in Warsaw on 16 and 17 June 2016. This support from fi-compass was provided through the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation Technical Assistance (EaSI TA).

02.08.2016 New EC guidance on selecting bodies to implement financial instruments

A new guidance note has been published by the European Commission about financial instruments using the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF).

July 2016
19.07.2016 Success factors for agricultural guarantee funds: lessons from Lithuania

Member States’ real-life experiences of using financial instruments for rural development were explained as part of the fi-compass seminar in Rome on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Knowledge sharing included practical advice by Inga Balžekaitė from the Lithuanian Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund (ACGF) who explained that, “If we want to have a long-running guarantee scheme, first of all we need to have an efficient organisational structure. As well...

12.07.2016 New off-the-shelf financial instruments for business and urban development

The European Commission has adopted two new 'off-the-shelf' financial instruments for investments using the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds: the Co-investment Facility and the Urban Development Fund.

04.07.2016 Social innovation perspectives from Portugal

Financial instruments can be used by Member States to support social policy objectives. Experience from Portugal highlights how such socially-oriented revolving funds can help to fill gaps in the availability of finance for the growth of social innovation and social entrepreneurship projects.

04.07.2016 Dutch experiences with revolving funds for fisheries

Financial instruments can be used to implement the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) including supporting sustainable development of fishery and aquaculture areas, aquaculture and processing, and Integrated Maritime Policy, among others. Whilst such opportunities are available throughout EU fishery areas, the fi-compass EMFF scoping study highlights that lack of knowledge about revolving funds within EMFF managing authorities can limit the launch of more financial...

04.07.2016 Rural development financial instruments showcased by fi-compass

Two macro-regional seminars were organised by fi-compass to raise awareness about opportunities for using financial instruments supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The events were titled ‘EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020’ and took place in Madrid on 31...

04.07.2016 New fi-compass handbook on ex-ante assessment for rural development financial instruments

A new fi-compass publication has been launched featuring advice about developing financial instruments for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Entitled 'Methodological handbook for implementing an ex-ante assessment of agriculture financial instruments under the EAFRD', the new publication provides a planning framework for...

June 2016
28.06.2016 New factsheet on Social Entrepreneurship published by fi-compass

A new advisory publication has been released by fi-compass which explains the role that financial instruments for social enterprises can play in supporting Member States’ objectives for inclusion and employment. This factsheet, titled ‘Financial instruments working with social entrepreneurship’, is now available for downloading and sharing via the...

21.06.2016 Entrepreneurship for disadvantaged groups fostered by fi-compass microfinance workshop

On 31 May 2016, the European Parliament together with the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) Technical Assistance (TA) organised the ”Microfinance for all?” workshop in Bratislava to discuss the role of microfinance, entrepreneurship education and best practice learning for Slovakian entrepreneurs. The workshop aimed at exchanging examples of good practices on...

21.06.2016 Placing farmers at the crossroad of investment decisions

The advantages of financial instruments as a means for future investment in the EU agricultural sector were emphasised at a fi-compass macro-regional seminar held in Rome on 13 June. More than 130 participants from 12 Member States, including experts from managing authorities, guarantee fund managers, bankers, investors, and consultants, took part in constructive talks on financial instruments supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), such as loans...

21.06.2016 Recent developments with ESIF financial instruments

Financial instruments continue to be at the forefront of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) policy developments. A new Communication from the European Commission on 'Taking stock of the Investment Plan for Europe and next steps' confirms a growing emphasis on using more ESIF financial instruments to deliver the EU’s Cohesion policy.

 

14.06.2016 First ESI Fund financial instruments combined with EFSI

Previous news stories from fi-compass have highlighted the use of financial instruments from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) in combination with complementary instruments from the...

08.06.2016 fi-compass regional seminar promotes financial instruments for agriculture and rural development

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.

06.06.2016 Microfinance Centre Conference: ‘Microfinance in the Cloud’ - Tirana

The annual Microfinance Centre (MFC) Conference is a key international event for microfinance stakeholders and this year the MFC Conference is taking place in Albania. Support from fi-compassEaSI TA will be involved at the event which is taking place in Tirana from 22-24 June.

03.06.2016 European Microfinance Network Annual Conference: ‘Shaping European Microfinance: Who, What, and For Whom?’

The European Microfinance Network (EMN) will hold its 13th Annual Conference in Warsaw (Poland) on the 16th and 17th June 2016. It is the conference for stakeholders of the European microfinance sector and about 250 delegates are expected to attend, including EMN member organisations, experts, and representatives from other institutions active in the microfinance sector.

May 2016
13.05.2016 Who’s doing what with financial instruments under ESIF?

Information about Member States' plans for ESIF financial instruments is included in the EU Communication titled 'Investing in jobs and growth - maximising the contribution of European Structural and Investment Funds'.

04.05.2016 Microcredit and guarantee instruments in Italy’s Marche region

Sharing knowledge and experience about financial instruments in action is a central part of the fi-compass remit. Such networking happens through information events and written case studies. One example of this peer exchange refers to lessons learned from using microcredit in Italy’s Marche region. Here, a microfinance instrument has been successfully promoting social inclusion using microcredit and a guarantee fund that can also be combined with grants and business mentoring advice...

April 2016
26.04.2016 Financial instruments' potential for promoting energy efficiency

Financial instruments using the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) can support energy efficiency projects that are economically viable and provide positive environmental impacts.

22.04.2016 Microcredit insights from Hungary

Small and micro-sized businesses form important parts of the Member States’ economies and fi-compass provides advice about financial instruments that can assist the growth potential of these companies.

20.04.2016 Member States seminar series: Cyprus

Financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a fi-compass seminar on 14 April 2016 in Nicosia, Cyprus. The seminar in Nicosia concluded this fi-compass series of advisory national seminars that have been taking place in almost all EU Member States since autumn 2015.

15.04.2016 Financial instruments for agriculture and rural development

Financial instruments for agriculture and rural development will be the focus of two new macro-regional fi-compass seminars that are being organised in Spain and Italy. The first of these events  will take place in Madrid on May 31st and Rome will host the second seminar on June 13th.

14.04.2016 Financial instruments under the European Social Fund promoting Social Impact Investment

Member States can use the European Social Fund (ESF) to support financial instruments such as loans, guarantees or equity products. These opportunities can help to improve access to finance for organisations, enterprises or individuals in ways that create both financial and social benefits and contribute to the ESF thematic objectives and Europe 2020 targets. Measuring social as well as financial returns is a key element of Social Impact Investment (SII).

12.04.2016 Local advice about financial instruments from the Enterprise Europe Network

Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are among the most common group of final recipients for financial instruments using the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Awareness-raising about opportunities for SMEs from ESIF financial instruments happens at different levels and locally-based advice is beneficial.

06.04.2016 New summary (in 23 languages) of guidelines on combining European Structural and Investment Funds with the European Fund for Strategic Investments

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe - and European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) both play a crucial role in creating jobs and growth. 

05.04.2016 Member States seminar series: France

Financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Paris on 22 March 2016. This seminar was part of the series of national seminars that have been taking place in almost all EU Member States since autumn 2015.

05.04.2016 New fi-compass case study focuses on business loans in Malta

The latest case study published by fi-compass presents a First Loss Portfolio Guarantee (FLPG) instrument implemented in Malta from 2011 to 2015 for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). These types of businesses play a predominant role in the Maltese economy, with SMEs accounting for 99.8% of companies and 79% of jobs in the country. Access to credit for SMEs had been difficult in the recent past.

March 2016
29.03.2016 EU-wide research study sheds light on SME financing patterns

Fi-compass provides advisory services on financial instruments funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). A key target group for many ESIF financial instruments is small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). These comprise a diverse range of businesses with differing financing profiles and they include enterprises that are eligible for support from each of the ESI Funds.

24.03.2016 Member States seminar series: Lithuania

Financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar organised by fi-compass in Vilnius, Lithuania on 17 March 2016. This event was part of a series of national seminars that have been taking place in most European Union Member States since autumn 2015.

18.03.2016 Member States seminar series: Estonia

On 15 March 2016, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar organised by fi-compass in Tallinn, Estonia. This event was part of a series of national seminars that have been taking place across the EU Member States since autumn 2015.

17.03.2016 fi-compass workshop supports the development of Greek microfinance

Microfinance and the social economy were discussed at a fi-compass EaSI TA workshop on 2 March in Athens. The workshop built on existing Greek interests with microfinance and included a focus on the regulatory framework.

17.03.2016 Estonia launches new rural development loan funds

Europe's first EAFRD financial instrument in 2014-2020 has now been launched by Estonia's Ministry of Rural Affairs. Estonia, after completing the legally required ex-ante assessment, has given a green light for two Loan products of total volume of EUR 30.1 million under its Rural Development Programme for 2014-2020.

17.03.2016 fi-compass events help to build knowhow in using financial instruments

The fi-compass seminar series is continuing to attract a wide range of participants who are interested in learning about financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Some 2300 stakeholders have attended the fi-compass events to date.

17.03.2016 Promoting economically viable financial instruments for public infrastructure

European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) programmes can use financial instruments to develop public infrastructure projects that are economically viable and capable of paying back the support provided.  In the current ESIF period this includes among other things improving: transport and energy networks; high-speed internet; community facilities; water quality; and waste management. ESIF financial instruments can be designed by Member States to make beneficial and viable infrastructure...

17.03.2016 Expanding the outreach of fi-compass online advisory services

A number of channels are used to raise awareness about the fi-compass advisory services and online communication continues to expand. This is helping fi-compass to connect with more people who are interested in financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). 

17.03.2016 Assessing the value added of loan funds in the agricultural sector - Interview with Szilvia Bencze on Hungary’s programming in 2014-2020

Szilvia Bencze works at the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture and she presented her managing authority’s experience with financial instruments for rural development at the fi-compass seminars in Latvia and Dublin.

17.03.2016 Financial instruments for SMEs are a top priority for fi-compass stakeholders

As part of the ongoing actions to ensure that fi-compass remains aligned with stakeholders’ needs, a user survey was carried out at the end of 2015. It highlighted that advice about financial instruments for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) is a top priority for many fi-compass stakeholders.  

17.03.2016 Fisheries support through financial instruments: latest fi-compass video focuses on the EMFF

Financial instruments for Europe’s fisheries sector are the focus of a new video released by fi-compass. It features perspectives from the European Commission as well as with managing authorities dealing with the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in Spain. The interviews were filmed during our Spanish Member State...

17.03.2016 New Guidance note about interest and other gains generated by European Structural & Investment Funds support paid to financial instrument (Article 43 Common Provisions Regulation)

A new European Commission Guidance note has been published to clarify how Member States should deal with interest or other gains generated from the investment of European Structural & Investment (ESI) Funds contributions to financial instruments. In the context of ESI Funds, the term 'treasury management' is used in relation to Article 43 of the Common Provisions Regulation which provides for investing the ESI Funds contribution to a financial instrument following the principles of sound...

17.03.2016 Improving understanding about EU finance for business

Business support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remains a common focus for the Member States’ financial instruments. Success factors for these instruments include the importance of managing authorities understanding SMEs financing requirements. Success is also aided when SMEs understand the support available from manging authorities.

17.03.2016 Flagship fi-compass events spotlight opportunities for financial instruments in the European Social Fund

Two high level events were organised by fi-compass earlier this month to raise awareness about opportunities for financial instruments in the European Social Fund (ESF). Both events were based in Brussels with a conference on ‘Financial Instruments under the European Social Fund 2014-2020’ taking place on 2 February, which was followed...

17.03.2016 Targeted coaching on rural development financial instruments gets under way

Targeted coaching for the relevant Member State managing authorities on how best to use financial instrument possibilities available under EU Rural Development funding (EAFRD) has now been launched.

16.03.2016 Member States seminar series: Hungary

On 10 March 2016, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Budapest, Hungary. This event was part of the national seminar series that has been taking place in nearly all Member States of the European Union since autumn 2015.

15.03.2016 Member States seminar series: Poland

On 8 March 2016, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar organised by fi-compass in Warsaw, Poland. This event was part of the national seminar series that has been taking place across the EU Member States since autumn 2015.

01.03.2016 Member States seminar series: Germany

Financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar on 25 February in Berlin, Germany. The seminar was part of the series of national seminars that have been taking place in almost all EU Member States since autumn 2015.

February 2016
24.02.2016 Member States seminar series: United Kingdom

Financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar on 18 February in London, United Kingdom (UK). The seminar was part of the national seminars that have been taking place in almost all EU Member States since autumn 2015.

Approximately 100 people attended the seminar in London, including representatives from managing authorities, audit authorities, financial intermediaries and consultants from the UK and other European...

23.02.2016 Hungary and UK host fi-compass workshops for microcredit providers

Hungary and UK host fi-compass workshops for microcredit providers

Two new workshops are being organised under the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) Programme’s Technical Assistance from fi-compass.  The first workshop will focus on the Code of Good Conduct (CoGC) for Microcredit Provision and will take place in Manchester, United Kingdom, on 8 March 2016.

22.02.2016 New guidelines on combining European Structural and Investment Funds with the EFSI

The Juncker Commission’s top priority is to get Europe growing again and to increase the number of jobs without creating new debt. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe - and European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) both play a crucial role in creating jobs and growth. The Commission, in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), has published a new brochure that explains how to best combine EFSI and ESI Funds....

19.02.2016 Promoting financial instruments to final recipients: Lithuania’s Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund

Capacity building through knowledge exchange is an important part of the fi-compass mandate. This includes identifying and disseminating knowhow that has been developed by experienced practitioners who are involved in the design and implementation of financial instruments funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

12.02.2016 Microfinance under the European Social Fund (ESF)

On 3 February 2016, fi-compass organised a workshop on Microfinance under the European Social Fund (ESF) which took place in Brussels. This workshop was attended by more than 100 participants including policy makers, representatives from managing authorities and microfinance providers.

12.02.2016 New fi-compass advice on microfinance instruments

Microfinance instruments can be useful for supporting microenterprises, unemployed workers, and citizens suffering from disadvantages. By helping to improve access to more affordable finance, these instruments remain particularly useful for supporting self-employment, business start-ups, integration and employment of vulnerable groups, as well as other social policies.

12.02.2016 Financial Instruments under the European Social Fund (ESF)

On 2 February 2016, fi-compass organised a high level conference on financial instruments under the ESF. This flagship event was attended by over 180 people including policy makers, managing authorities and audit bodies, as well as delegates from the banking and consultancy sectors.

11.02.2016 New fi-compass case study: developing the social economy in Poland

fi-compass has released a new case study about a financial instrument co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) that provides loans and advice to socially-oriented enterprises across Poland. This is a valuable example of how a managing authority, here the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Development, and partners have established an instrument to promote sustainable, quality employment, supporting labour mobility and social inclusion, while also combating poverty and...

04.02.2016 Member States seminar series: The Netherlands

On 27 January 2016, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in The Hague, the Netherlands. The seminar was well-attended and forms part of a series of national seminars that will have been conducted in almost all EU Member States by mid-April 2016.

03.02.2016 Member States seminar series: Slovenia

On 21 January 2016, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This seminar is part of a series of national seminars that will have been conducted in almost all EU Member States by mid-April 2016.

03.02.2016 Member States seminar series: Malta

On 25 January 2016, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Malta. This seminar is a part of a series of national seminars that will have been conducted in almost all EU Member States by mid-April 2016.

January 2016
28.01.2016 Member States seminar series: Portugal

On the 18th of January 2016, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Lisbon, Portugal. More than 130 people participated in this seminar, including representatives from managing authorities and audit authorities, as well as from the banking and consultancy sectors.

26.01.2016 New advisory publications for the European Social Fund to be released next week

Financial instruments co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) can be used to invest in the growth and development of EU citizens and their skills - thereby promoting employment and social inclusion. More Member States are starting to use financial instruments for social development purposes, and fi-compass is involved with helping to improve understanding about opportunities from ESF financial instruments.

13.01.2016 Our ESIF factsheets are now available in selected EU languages

Our factsheets introducing financial instruments for the different European Structural and Investment Funds are now available in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovakian, Slovenian and Spanish. These selected fi-compass materials have been translated into various EU languages to help deepen people’s understanding of the opportunities that...

12.01.2016 Flagship fi-compass events will focus on the European Social Fund

One of the year’s biggest gatherings of people involved in using financial instruments for the European Social Fund (ESF) will take place next month in Brussels. Two days of back-to-back advisory events will take place on February 2nd and February 3rd. Each of these free-of-charge events will bring together a useful mix of different experiences from around the EU in using ESF financial instruments.

05.01.2016 Financial instruments can help many types of businesses in the maritime and fisheries sectors

A new fi-compass video snapshot features Miguel Peña Castellot from the European Commission’s DG MARE explaining that financial instruments are a great opportunity to leverage investment from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

December 2015
10.12.2015 New European Commission guidance note on management costs and fees for financial instruments implemented according to Article 38(4)(b)

Financial instruments are a form of support whose success hinges on the performance of bodies implementing them. One of the decisive parameters to align the interests of the managing authorities and the bodies implementing financial instruments is the remuneration paid to the latter in the form of performance-based management costs and fees.

10.12.2015 European microcredit providers gain from practical fi-compass support

Known in the previous programming period as Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions in Europe (JASMINE), EaSI Technical Assistance involves a range of support activities for European microcredit providers. Now accessible under the umbrella of fi-compass EaSI Technical Assistance will help build up the institutional capacity of microcredit providers thanks to various forms of assistance including business development tools for the wider European microcredit sector.

10.12.2015 fi-compass stakeholders confirm the added value of financial instrument advisory services

A recently completed needs assessment of fi-compass users has clarified the benefits from our practical advice about ESIF financial instruments for managing authorities, financial intermediaries, and other interested parties. 

10.12.2015 fi-compass seminars underway and warmly welcomed

Since September we have run 14 successful fi-compass seminars in 12 different Member States and our seminar series continues in 2016 with a further 17 events in the pipeline. 

10.12.2015 The European Committee of the Regions’ opinion on financial instruments in support of territorial development

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has recently published a draft opinion about improving the implementation of financial instruments using European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) at local and regional levels in support of territorial development.

10.12.2015 Personal perspectives from the fi-compass community of practice

Our collection of video 'snapshot' interviews featuring personal perspectives from people involved in ESIF financial instruments is growing. Some of these have been mentioned elsewhere in articles from this edition of the Beacon newsletter, and you can see the first ten interviews with your peers on our fi-compass YouTube channel.

10.12.2015 Second meeting of the fi-compass expert group

A second meeting of the fi-compass expert group composed of experts and representatives of International Financial Institutions, took place on 5 November in Brussels. Its primary objective was to collect the experts advice and recommendations for the fi-compass work programme.

10.12.2015 Guarantees for Europe’s agriculture and rural development sector

Member States are being encouraged to more than double the amount of financial instruments that use the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Regional seminars in Riga and Vienna, as well as first European conference in Dublin have already taken place, organised by fi-compass in support of this goal. 

10.12.2015 Promoting financial instruments with social and employment purposes

The fi-compass European Social Fund (ESF) work stream offers a range of advisory services and support to managing authorities, financial intermediaries and other stakeholders wishing to know how financial instruments can be used to deliver ESF objectives. One aspect of this advisory support is the organisation of regional ESF seminars in Member States such as those conducted since September in Paris, Rome and Warsaw. 

10.12.2015 Fishery sector support through ESIF financial instruments

A new scoping study has recently been released by fi-compass which examines the potential for financial instruments under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The study gives essential insights on: the investment needs and opportunities that financial instruments could address in the seafood sector; the potential synergies and efficiencies with other ESI Funds; considerations for the most suitable types of financial products for the sector; and how advisory support can...

10.12.2015 Follow fi-compass on social media

fi-compass provides upstream advice on financial instruments through a number of channels, including our online hub and Twitter. To expand outreach and the dissemination of our tools and services that are available to managing authorities, financial intermediaries and all other interested stakeholders, fi-compass has recently launched a YouTube channel.

10.12.2015 Sharing the risk of business investments: lessons from the fi-compass case study library

EU Member States are being encouraged to make an efficient use of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) through the use of financial instruments. Lessons learned from the successes of financial instruments using the ESIF predecessor funds can provide valuable experience, and fi-compass is involved in sharing this experience through advisory products such as case studies.

 

09.12.2015 Member States seminar series: Greece

On the 3rd of December 2015, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Athens, Greece. This seminar was part of a series of seminars which will be conducted in 24 EU Member States into 2016.

November 2015
30.11.2015 Member States seminar series: Croatia

On the 24th of November 2015, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Zagreb, Croatia. This seminar was part of a series of seminars which will be conducted in 24 EU Member States into 2016.

23.11.2015 Member States seminar series: Spain

On the 18th of November 2015, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Madrid, Spain. This seminar was part of a series of seminars which will be conducted in 25 EU Member States into 2016.

19.11.2015 Video feedback from fi-compass events

Delegates at the fi-compass events continue to appreciate the advice about financial instruments that is provided by experts and case studies. Examples of the positive feedback from the fi-compass regional European Social Fund seminar in Warsaw were recorded in short 'snapshot' video interviews.

13.11.2015 Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)

On the 4th of November 2015 financial instruments under the ESF were discussed at a seminar in Warsaw. This seminar was part of a series of ESF seminars conducted in Paris, Rome and Warsaw. Around 70 participants attended the seminar in Warsaw which shows high interest in financial instruments under the ESF. Following the opening and welcome speeches by Andrea Da Pozzo, European Commission and Ando Siitam, European Investment Bank practical experiences on the use of financial instruments...

13.11.2015 Member States seminar series: Czech Republic

On the 10th of November 2015, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Prague, Czech Republic. This seminar was part of a series of seminars which will be conducted in 25 EU Member States into 2016. Sixty-four people participated in the seminar in Prague, including representatives from managing authorities as well as from the banking and consultancy sectors...

12.11.2015 Member State events, December 2015 to February 2016, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds

Register now to attend a fi-compass seminar near you. Registrations are now open for the following seminars on financial instruments in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF): Athens, 3 December 2015 Lisbon, 18 January 2016 Ljubljana, 21 January 2016 The Hague, 27 January 2016 Nicosia, 4 February 2016 Valletta, 11 February 2016 London, 18 February 2016 Berlin, 25 February 2016 The purpose of this seminar series is to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to learn more...

12.11.2015 Ex-ante assessment for SME-related financial instruments: market analysis

Ex-ante assessments are mandatory for managing authorities setting up or continuing a financial instrument in the 2014-2020 programming period.

09.11.2015 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...

08.11.2015 Member States seminar series: Latvia

On the 30th of October 2015, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Riga, Latvia. This seminar was part of a series of seminars which will be conducted in 25 EU Member States into 2016. At the seminar in Riga, a total of 79 people took part and these participants included representatives from managing authorities as well as the banking and consultancy sectors. Following the opening speech by Mr Ašeradens, Parliamentary Secretary at the Latvian...

05.11.2015 Financial instruments for efficiency in buildings

As part of our dialogue with financial instrument stakeholdesr, fi-compass asked Oliver Rapf, Executive Director of the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), a Brussels based think tank with a focus on energy and the built environment, what he thought financial instruments could help achieve in this area.

04.11.2015 Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)

On the 21st of October 2015 financial instruments delivering the ESF were discussed at a seminar in Rome. This seminar was part of a series of seminars conducted in Paris, Rome and Warsaw. Around 80 participants attended the seminar in Rome. This shows high interest in financial instruments under the ESF. Following the opening and welcome speeches by Leonardo Colucci, European Commission and Pieter Coppens, European Investment Bank practical experiences on the use of financial...

04.11.2015 Member States seminar series: Italy

On the 22nd of October 2015 financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Rome. This seminar was part of a series of seminars conducted in 25 EU Member States. Following the opening speech of Salvatore Vescina, Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic, practical experiences on the use of financial instruments were presented. This included the experience of supporting SMEs using guarantee schemes in Tuscany under the ERDF programme...

04.11.2015 Microfinance Center Conference: “Employment, Youth and Investment: What can Microfinance do?”

Prague, 4-6 November 2015 - EaSI TA: Dissemination of Microfinance Best Practice within European Pre-established Events - The annual Microfinance Centre (MFC) Conference is considered to be one of the top regional microfinance conferences worldwide and is highly regarded by microfinance stakeholders. This year, the MFC 2015 Conference is taking place in Prague in November 2015. It gathers over 450 microfinance stakeholders (including microfinance institutions, researchers and policy makers)...

04.11.2015 European Microfinance Week 2015: “Financial Inclusion for Sustainable Development”

Luxembourg, 18-20 November 2015 - EaSI TA: Dissemination of Microfinance Best Practice within European Pre-established Events - The European Microfinance Week is a major annual event of the microfinance industry in Europe hosting high level and in-depth discussions by all sectors of the European microfinance community (banks and financial institutions, government agencies, NGO's, consulting firms, researchers and universities) working in developing countries. It is organized by the European...

October 2015
22.10.2015 Positive feedback from fi-compass seminar participants

The fi-compass seminar series is underway and participants have already noted very positive feedback from the first round of events. High satisfaction levels reported by seminar delegates underline the events’ ability to provide useful advice for a wide range of public and private sector partners involved in ESIF financial instruments...

19.10.2015 Microfinance rules, regulations and advice: Bordeaux, 28 October 2015

Microfinance matters will be the focus of a conference in France later this month. Conference sessions include a set of plenary presentations funded by the fi-compass EaSI Technical Assistance programme. This part of the conference will help participants to further their understanding of regulatory frameworks for microcredit in Europe...

16.10.2015 Member States seminar series: Romania

On the 8th of October 2015 financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Bucharest. This seminar was part of a series of seminars conducted in 25 EU Member States. More than 80 people took part in this well-attended seminar. Places at the event had to be extended in order to accommodate the high level of interest from public sector bodies, banking organisations and consultancy companies...

15.10.2015 Member States seminar series: Bulgaria

On the 6th of October 2015 financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Sofia. This event was part of a series of seminars conducted in 25 EU Member States. Around 120 participants attended the seminar in Sofia. This shows a high interest in financial instruments. Following the opening speech by Ms Kordova, Director of the Monitoring of EU Funds Directorate in Bulgaria, practical experience on the use of financial instruments was presented. This included...

14.10.2015 1st European Microfinance Day - 20 October

The European Microfinance Day will be opened by Commissioner Thyssen on 19 October...

14.10.2015 European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

Riga will be the venue for a fi-compass regional seminar about EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development on 29 October...

14.10.2015 European Social Fund

fi-compass seminars on ESF financial instruments will take place in Rome on 21 October and Warsaw on 4 November. A fi-compass conference on ESF financial instruments will take place in Brussels on 9 December 2015. Microfinance and the ESF will be the topic of a fi-compass event in Brussels on 10 December 2015...

14.10.2015 Member State seminars

Don’t miss the fi-compass seminars on financial instruments delivering ESI Funds in Rome, Riga, Prague, Madrid, Zagreb and Athens. Calendar and registrations here...

14.10.2015 Annual Summary on Financial Engineering Instruments 2014 available

This report describes how financial engineering instruments under the 2007-2013 ERDF and ESF programmes are delivered across many policy areas and Member States...

14.10.2015 Case study

The Campania region launched the Microcredit Fund at the end of 2011, with € 100 million of resources committed from the European Social Fund. Read more on how it improves access to finance for young people, the unemployed, women, migrants. Other case studies on the use of ESIF financial instruments in practice can be found here...

14.10.2015 Latest Regulatory Guidance

Guidance note: European Structural and Investment Funds Guidance for Member States and Programme Authorities CPR_37_7_8_9 Combination of support from a financial instrument with other forms of support. Available here...

12.10.2015 Grants and financial instruments working together

Provisions on combination of financial instruments with grants and other forms of support from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are part of the 2014-2020 legal framework. Using financial instruments together with grants or other forms of support can have several advantages. It can allow financial support to be better tailored to the final recipients’ needs. What’s more, businesses could find combinations of ESIF support more attractive and more accessible...

12.10.2015 Innovation support and ESIF financial instruments

Support through financial instruments for Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI) is an area that may be of interest to ESIF managing authorities. Thanks to the new ESIF Policy Framework extending the use of financial instruments to all thematic objectives (and also to possible synergies with Horizon 2020 and other research, innovation and competitiveness-related Union programmes1) there are now more opportunities in this area and more funding available for RTDI than ever...

12.10.2015 Call open for Financial Intermediaries under the EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument.

On 22 June 2015, the European Commission entrusted the EIF with the implementation of the EaSI Guarantee under the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). The EaSI Guarantee will provide a €96 million guarantee for the period 2014-2020. This is expected to generate over €500 million in loans that are used to promote jobs and growth in Europe...

12.10.2015 EFSI and ESIF: Complementarity, not overlap

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can exploit synergies with the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). EFSI is an initiative launched jointly by the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group to assist in overcoming the current investment gap in the EU by maximising the impact of public resources and by mobilising private financing for strategic investments. Legally speaking, EFSI is not a stand-alone fund. It is formally a contractual...

08.10.2015 Financial Instruments delivering ESI Funds

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can exploit synergies with the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). EFSI is an initiative launched jointly by the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group to assist in overcoming the current investment gap in the EU by maximising the impact of public resources and by mobilising private financing for strategic investments. Legally speaking, EFSI is not a stand-alone fund. It is formally a contractual...

06.10.2015 Promoting financial instruments for agriculture and rural development

The importance of knowledge about using ex-ante assessments properly was one of the main conclusions from the recent fi-compass event focused on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Knowhow about this and other systematic approaches involved in setting up an EAFRD financial instrument where noted as being extremely useful for EAFRD managing authorities...

01.10.2015 Seven steps to effective ex-ante assessments for ESIF financial instruments

An ex-ante assessment is a crucial, and therefore mandatory, step in the overall lifecycle of ESIF financial instruments. Ex-ante assessments help everyone involved to understand the investment needs in a specific area. Results from the ex-ante work will also confirm the role that financial instruments can play in achieving policy objectives for ESIF programmes. A new video summarising seven essential stages of an ex-ante assessment for ESIF financial instruments has just been published by...

September 2015
28.09.2015 Microfinance for universities

Microfinance instruments can be useful sources of support for Microcredit Institutions pursuing 'Responsible Inclusive Finance and Customer Empowerment'. This topic was discussed during a dedicated workshop held in Germany last week at the annual ‘University Meets Microfinance’ initiative. Funded by fi-compass EaSI Technical Assistance, the event attracted more than 60 participants and featured advice about important microfinance issues such as implementing Social Performance Management,...

25.09.2015 Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)

Financial instruments and the ESF were under the spotlight in Paris this week at a regional seminar organised by fi-compass. Participants from around Europe attended the event which highlighted useful experiences from existing loan funds supporting the types of activities that are relevant for ESF purposes. Advice and experiences were also exchanged by the Paris participants about the range of fi-compass advisory material that is available to help ESF stakeholders. A special session for...

25.09.2015 Rural Development Programme financial instruments

A new article about financial instruments for Rural Development Programmes has been produced by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) in their EU Rural Review magazine. Advisory services provided by fi-compass for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development are spotlighted in the article, which also includes a range of other useful information for people interested in financial instruments for the Rural Development Programmes. See the article on our EAFRD page at the fi-...

23.09.2015 Guide to financial instrument products

A new short reference guide about different financial instrument products is now available from fi-compass. The guide illustrates the key features and differences between products such as loans, guarantees, equity and quasi‑equity. It has been produced as a useful information source for managing authorities, financial intermediaries, final recipients of ESIF assistance and others with an interest in ESIF financial instruments. Find out more: Financial instrument products...

11.09.2015 Action plan for financial instruments

Systematic approaches to the planning of financial instruments can help to improve their effectiveness. A new short reference guide from fi-compass structures the life cycle of a financial instrument along four logical phases (design, set‑up, implementation and winding‑up). This 16 page reference guide is relevant for all ESIF financial instruments and it summarises the main activities of each phase to ensure a comprehensive and efficient process. Sources of further information and...

04.09.2015 Increase your knowledge about financial instruments

A new series of fi-compass seminars is now open for registration. These events will provide information about opportunities from ESI Fund financial instruments in different Member States. Specialised events focused on particular ESI Funds are also now open for registration. Places currently available include fi-compass events during October and November in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. Similar fi-compass seminars will take...

July 2015
16.07.2015 ECA report on Financial Instruments in Rural Development 2007-2013

In May 2015, a report was published by the European Court of Auditors analysing the performance of the Financial Instruments supported by the EAFRD in 2007-2013. While being rather critical towards the legal framework existing at that time, as well as implementation approaches and performance results, the report concludes that the Commission should provide guidance and actively promote the quality of the mandatory ex-ante assessments for Financial Instruments, which are intended to serve as...

16.07.2015 Ann Phelan T.D., Irish Minister of State at the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Transport, Tourism and Sport, with Special Responsibility for Rural Economic Development, on learning about FIs under EAFRD at the Dublin Conference

We asked Ann Phelan, who was attending the first fi-compass conference on FIs under the EAFRD, what she thought of the opportunities that Financial Instruments could create for rural areas in Ireland. Ms Phelan was extremely excited about the different ways FIs could benefit people and especially rural communities. She thought the video was very useful in translating the potential impact of FIs on a variety of sometimes-related recipients of support...

16.07.2015 Three regional events further increase awareness of FIs under ERDF and CF

A series of three fi-compass seminars with the same agenda took place on 27 May in Brussels, 2 June in Vienna and 9 June in Warsaw. The aim of these seminars was to help participants understand how Financial Instruments can support ESIF 2014-2020 objectives, in particular under the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund...

16.07.2015 Ex-ante assessment for SME-related financial instruments: market analysis

Ex-ante assessments are mandatory for managing authorities setting up or continuing a financial instrument in the 2014-2020 programming period. 

16.07.2015 The difference between off-the-shelf & tailor-made instruments

Amongst the new opportunities to ease the delivery of ESI Funds to the final recipients, there are the so-called off-the-shelf instruments providing standard terms and conditions, which are compatible with ESI Funds regulation and State Aid rules and seek to combine public and private resources...

16.07.2015 The fi-compass expert group met for the first time on 30 April

A fi-compass expert group has been established to provide advice to European Commission services so as to ensure the overall consistency of fi-compass, the advisory platform on Financial Instruments supported by the ESI Funds and the EaSI micro-finance. Advice should pertain to all fi-compass activities, and in particular the content and delivery of fi-compass work programmes, as well as themes and priorities for future calls for proposals for Multi-Region Assistance (planned to be launched...

16.07.2015 Developing common standards: European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision

The European microcredit market is a young and growing sector which is quite heterogeneous due to the disparity of the legal and institutional frameworks in the Member States and the diversity of the microcredit providers. As a consequence, lending practices in microcredit vary considerably. The Commission has developed the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision with the objective of setting out good practice guidelines that will better enable the sector to face the...

16.07.2015 First European conference on FIs under EAFRD a success – Tailor-made Financial Instruments are needed for boosting EU agriculture

The first European conference on Financial Instruments under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) took place on 23 and 24 June 2015 in Dublin, Ireland, and hosted more than 200 participants from across Europe. Opening the conference, An Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny T.D. underlined the importance of the agri-food sector in Ireland, pointing out that funding the sector was crucial and that Financial Instruments could help fund these much needed...

09.07.2015 Contribution from Monika Czerwińska, Social Economy Financing Specialist at TISE SA (Warsaw conference participant)

As I am representing a financial intermediary from Poland, I was particularly interested to hear what Financial Instruments are envisaged for the new programming period 2014-2020 and when they may be launched. I also wanted to learn if there will be a gap period between the two programming periods...

June 2015
12.06.2015 Anna Muterko from the Conference on Financial Instruments for delivery of the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund, Vienna

fi-compass organised a conference in Vienna on Financial Instruments for delivery of the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund. Anna Muterko, from the Managing Authority ERDF/IGJ Austria (ÖROK, Austrian Conference on Spatial Planning) commented: “I was especially interested to learn more about the EC Guidance Notes and the reasoning behind some of the provisions and how to implement them. The event allowed me to learn more about the set-up of Financial Instruments in other Member States and to hear how...

04.06.2015 Jan Novak, Financial Instruments Unit, Directorate of EU Funds, Financial and Voluntary Instruments, Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic

The Ministry of the Environment is currently implementing its first financial instrument and thus the fi-compass conference (of 2 June 2015) was very useful for me. Not least because I met with fellows representing other managing authorities who already have experience with the full life-cycle of financial instruments in the same thematic area, i.e. energy efficiency and waste. I found out that some of my colleagues already went through similar bottlenecks that we are facing during the...

04.06.2015 fi-compass seminars share lessons learned from regional initiatives on using financial instruments

The first two in a series of three identical fi-compass seminars took place on 27 May in Brussels and 2 June in Vienna. The aim of these seminars is to help participants understand how financial instruments can support ESIF 2014-2020 objectives, in particular under the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund...

03.06.2015 Information Session on Multi Region Assistance

An information session took place in Brussels on 26 May to inform potential beneficiaries of multi-region assistance and stimulate their application. All the information concerning the session as well as the various supporting documents, including presentations, are availabe here on the InfoRegio website...

May 2015
04.05.2015 Register for Dublin EAFRD Conference

Registration is now open for first European fi-compass Conference on Financial Instruments under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The Conference will take place in Dublin on 23 and 24 June 2015. Participants can expect to further their understanding of how financial instruments can help in their efforts to deliver EAFRD objectives. They will also learn how new initiatives, including fi-compass and also EC-EIB co-operation in Agriculture and Rural Development, can support...

April 2015
29.04.2015 Multi-region assistance

fi-compass multi-region assistance will provide EU funding to projects of at least two managing authorities from different EU Member States which aim at assessing possible use of ESIF financial instruments in specific thematic areas, such as Roma inclusion or in the context of Macro-Regional Strategies. The multi-region assistance will give a unique opportunity to managing authorities from different EU Member States to cooperate with each other as well as to benefit from the expertise of...

21.04.2015 The new advisory hub online

The new fi-compass webportal is NOW LIVE! The platform is offering a wide range of resources for Member States, managing authorities, financial institutions, project leaders and all stakeholders. There is a wealth of useful tools accessible on the website, including a short illustrative video on the benefits of financial instruments and an explanatory factsheet on how they work...

21.04.2015 Share your expertise and get involved

Sharing best practices will be a great way to improve the performance of financial instruments under the new Investment Plan. If you have used financial instruments successfully or if you would like to contribute to the fi-compass platform, please get in touch by writing to us...

21.04.2015 A push for ESIF Financial Instruments

Having established the need to make Europe more attractive for investment and channel these investments where they are most needed, the European Commission recently announced a €315 billion Investment Plan over the next three years to boost jobs and growth (COM(2014)903). The plan was immediately substantiated by the proposal to create a new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), to provide for additional risk financing. This is the first pillar of the plan. The second pillar is...

21.04.2015 The Investment Plan explained

Having established the need to make Europe more attractive for investment and channel these investments where they are most needed, the European Commission recently announced a €315 billion Investment Plan over the next three years to boost jobs and growth (COM(2014)903). The plan was immediately substantiated by the proposal to create a new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), to provide for additional risk financing. This is the first pillar of the plan. The second pillar is...

21.04.2015 AGRI conference Dublin June

The first European fi-compass conference on financial instruments under the EAFRD will take place in Dublin, 23-24th June, 2015. The conference will be open by statements from Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and Wilhelm Molterer, Vice President of the EIB. The event targets EAFRD Managing Authorities, farm and business associations, bodies implementing or considering implementing financial instruments in agriculture and rural businesses, financial...

21.04.2015 EaSI workshop

The first EaSI workshop took place on 1 December in Brussels and focused on the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision and EaSI financial instruments. The objective of the workshop was to address the implementation of the Code in relation to: (i) the EaSI technical assistance for microcredit providers that will be made available under the new period 2014-2020; and (ii) the adherence to the Code by public and private bodies willing to benefit from funding opportunities in the...

21.04.2015 The SME initiative, a tangible support programme

The SME Initiative is a concrete tool available for Member States to stimulate additional lending to SMEs by the banking sector. It offers a number of advantages, including: The possibility to offer unique financial products, including for riskier and innovative SMEs (two options: uncapped guarantees and joint securitisation); Early deployment of ESIfunds as the ex-ante assessment has already been carried out; No requirement for national co-financing; Easy cash flow management, in particular...

21.04.2015 EaSI microfinance advice - Call for identification of beneficiaries

Under fi-compass, selected European microfinance providers can benefit from an institutional assessment or rating, to be followed by tailored trainings to increase the quality of their internal processes. The EIB has launched its first Call for Expression of Interest to identify and select up to 30 European microcredit providers which will benefit from EaSI Technical Assistance starting in 2015. If you are a microcredit provider and you wish to apply to EaSI Technical Assistance, you should...

21.04.2015 DG AGRI – EIB Memorandum of Understanding

Last month, the European Commission (DG AGRI) and the EIB organised a joint high-level conference on the co-operation between the two institutions in the fields of agriculture and rural development. The event which took place in Brussels launched the implementation of the work programme under the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the two institutions in July 2014(footnote: see Statement 14/225). The conference was attended by representatives from Member States, managing...

21.04.2015 New report: Boosting finance in energy efficiency investments in buildings, industry and SMEs

The report by the Energy Efficiency Financial Institution Group (EEFIG), which was published on 26 February 2015, contains recommendations on a range of actions that could help overcome the current challenges to obtaining long-term financing for energy efficiency. The EEFIG, an expert group set-up by the European Commission and United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative identifies a "very strong economic, social and competitive rationale for the up-scaling of energy efficiency...

21.04.2015 CSI Europe - Points of view

CSI Europe is an URBACT network that focuses on the involvement of cities in Urban Development Fund (UDF) structures and the way these ESIF financial instruments can be more effectively embedded in future city planning and governance. The aim of the network is to increase the future take up of and help mainstream across other cities sustainable urban development financial instruments. This especially benefits those cities who have not had the opportunity to develop direct practical...

21.04.2015 Research: Lessons learnt from the 2007-2013 programming period

DG REGIO, the Latvian Presidency, the Regional Studies Association and the University of Latvia co-organised the conference “Challenges for the New Cohesion Policy in 2014-2020: An Academic and Policy Debate” (Riga, 4-6 February 2015) to debate the challenges facing cohesion policy up to 2020 and the related policy and research priorities, with one thematic focusing on financial instruments...

21.04.2015 Launch of fi-compass

fi-compass was launched by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank at a conference on 19-20 January in Brussels, as the new platform for advisory services on financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and microfinance under the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). The conference gathered more than 400 representatives of managing authorities, financial intermediaries and other stakeholders and provided them with the...

21.04.2015 ERDF/CF regional seminars will take place in May and June 2015

Three fi-compass seminars on financial instruments under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) are being organised in Brussels (27 May 2015), Vienna (02 June 2015) and Warsaw (09 June 2015). Participants can expect to further their understanding of how financial instruments can help in their efforts to deliver ESIF 2014-2020 objectives, in particular in relation to the ERDF and the CF.

21.04.2015 Other events

Information regarding new events will be published as they are announced, so please make sure you check the calendar on the fi-compass website regularly.

21.04.2015 Peer-to-Peer Initiative

The Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy has recently launched a new tool for peer-to-peer exchanges among managing, certifying and audit authorities (and intermediate bodies) in Member States, called REGIO PEER 2 PEER. The tool is based on the existing TAIEX instrument. It is aimed at helping Member States to improve their administrative capacity in managing the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund, including financial instruments. REGIO PEER 2 PEER can...

21.04.2015 SME workshop

INFO | The Commission organised in Brussels (in the premises of the Committee of the Regions) on 23 April 2015 – in cooperation with the Spanish and Maltese authorities as well as EIB and EIF – a workshop on the SME Initiative: in an operational and working level context, Member States were able to learn more about it and understand its main advantages, but also to discuss concrete implementation-related arrangements etc.

21.04.2015 EU Investment Offensive: Commission and EIB launch new advisory service on financial instruments

On 19 January, the European Commission, in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), is launching fi-compass, a new advisory service on financial instruments for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds).

21.04.2015 Event on Financial instruments applied to ERDF and the Cohesion Fund

An event on “Financial instruments applied to ERDF and the Cohesion Fund” will take place in Brussels (27.05.2015), Vienna (02.06.2015) and Warsaw (09.06.2015). The events will deliver the same information: please register for one event only.

21.04.2015 EaSI Call for Expression of Interest

The EIB has issued a call for expression of interest to identify and select European microcredit providers which benefit from EaSI Technical Assistance. For further details on the first call for expression of interest, please visit the following website of the EIB.