The second annual FI Campus conference was successfully held in Brussels earlier this month (December 3-5). Over 360 practitioners from 24 Member States attended the event, which was opened by Eric von Breska, the Director of the Policy Directorate at the European Commission (DG REGIO) and Simon Barnes, Head of Advisory Services at the European Investment Bank.
FI Campus 2018 brought together practitioners to share their ‘on the ground’ experience and included showcasing several examples where financial instruments and investment platforms have combined European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) resources with the European Fund for Strategic Investments. The event also featured a range of different types of sessions and provided an opportunity to launch a number of new fi-compass initiatives, including financial instrument research, case studies, survey results and the website’s new Country pages section providing information about financial instruments in your country.
During the event, the European Commission presented a preview of the latest data on the use of ESIF financial instruments under Cohesion policy. The latest statistics show how ESI funds committed to financial instruments increased by approximately 38% in the year 2017 to around EUR 14.2bn. As a result, the amounts committed by the end of 2017 already far exceed the total amount of ESI funds resources committed to financial instruments in the previous period (2007-2013).
The continued growth of financial instruments, which is being seen in all areas of Cohesion policy, including social and agricultural sectors, is expected to remain an important feature of the post 2020 Multiannual Financial Framework. In order to support the anticipated further growth of these ESI funded financial instruments, the European Commission highlighted at the event the scope for further technical assistance initiatives beyond 2020.
A special FI Campus session was organised to update our stakeholder stocktaking survey and help support the European Commission’s design of future fi-compass activity. Findings confirmed interest among the FI Campus audience for more advice and knowledge-sharing about thematic topics as well as the specific life cycle stages of ESIF financial instruments.