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Member States seminar series: Greece

Picture: Zoe Georgopoulou, Head of NSRF and State Aid Service, National Coordination Authority, Ministry of Finance, Greece

On the 3rd of December 2015, financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Athens, Greece. This seminar was one of our most well-attended Member States events so far and it formed part of a series of national seminars that will be conducted in 24 EU Member States into 2016.

More than 130 people participated in the seminar in Athens, including representatives from managing authorities and audit authorities, as well as from the banking and consultancy sectors.

Picture: Joanna Wardzińska, Social and Economic Investment Company TISE S.A., Poland; Nikos Mantzoufas, Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, Greece; Eirini Botonaki, European Investment Fund

The opening speech was given by Zoe Georgopoulou, the Head of NSRF and State Aid Service at the National Coordination Authority, in the Ministry of Finance, Greece. Following the opening speech, the JEREMIE Venture Capital Funds supporting Greek entrepreneurship was presented. In addition, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the JESSICA implementation in Greece as well as the Loan Fund for Social Economy under the ESF in Poland.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy presented the Investment Plan for Europe along with key novelties and official guidance concerning ESIF financial instruments. This was complemented by a presentation from the European Investment Bank on how fi-compass can help Member States to advance with financial instruments. Two parallel workshops during the seminar in Greece focused on hands-on work following the life cycle of financial instruments with particular emphasis on the design phase. The participants actively discussed possible approaches and their own practical experience with a number of crucial issues regarding designing financial instruments and concerning the market assessment needed for the ex-ante assessment.

Picture: Event participants

The success of the seminar demonstrated that there is a very high interest in financial instruments in Greece. The delegates' discussions highlighted the potential for financial instruments to support job creation objectives. The advantages of financial instruments compared to grants were also appreciated by many, and this can help to encourage a move toward increased use of ESIF financial instruments in Greece.

Similarly useful events about ESIF financial instruments are arranged for Lisbon (January 18th), Ljubljana (January 21st) and Valletta (January 25th), with more to come in 2016.

All the presentations from the Athens seminar are available on the fi-compass website.

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