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services on financial instruments under the
fi-compass is a unique platform for advisory
for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
European Structural and Investment Funds
(ESIF) and microfinance under the Programme
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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
sector to create jobs and enhance growth in the EU. Financial Instruments will

Journal

December 2016
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 efficiency...
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 financial instruments' implementation that are targeted at specific thematic objectives. 'Thematic objective 3' (TO3) promotes the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and it...
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. Data in the summaries provide positive and encouraging evidence on the progress in setting up and operating financial instruments. They highlight that, despite the early stage of programme implementation,...
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. Improving access to such finance for farmers and rural...
November 2016
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 (ERDF) can help address risk aversion among lenders towards small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This case study's financial instrument operated during the 2007-2013 period in Belgium's Wallonian province of Liège. Case study content is interesting for numerous reasons including the instrument's governance structure which involved public, semi-public, and private...
October 2016
26.10.2016 Microfinance news from fi-compass
Recent news from fi-compass featuring our support for the European microfinance sector includes: new language versions of the fi-compass Microfinance factsheet in French, German, Spanish and Italian; and a review of an EaSI TA capacity building workshop in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
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. The summary's content shows positive and encouraging...
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. A...
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.   The fi-compass EaSI TA workshop will explain: relevant financial instruments using the European Structural & Investment Funds; capacity...
April 2016
20.04.2016 Member States seminar series: Cyprus
Picture: Georgia Christofidou, Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, 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. Approximately 70 people attended the seminar in Nicosia, including representatives from...
05.04.2016 Member States seminar series: France
Picture: Florence Clermont-Brouillet, Department of European Affairs, CGET, France Financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Paris on 22 March 2016. This event was part of the series of national seminars that have been taking place in almost all EU Member States since autumn 2015. Representatives from managing authorities, national or regional authorities, audit authorities, as well as private stakeholders, attended the seminar in Paris, which hosted...
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. Understanding the financial characteristics of different types of SMEs can help ESIF managing...
18.03.2016 Member States seminar series: Estonia
Picture: Kerstin Liiva, Ministry of Finance, 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. More than 50 delegates were attracted to the seminar, including representatives from programme authorities (managing authorities, certifying and audit authorities), other...
16.03.2016 Member States seminar series: Hungary
Picture: Tamás Karsai, Ministry of National Economy, 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. The seminar in Budapest was attended by representatives from managing, certifying and audit authorities, as well as other regional and national authorities, financial...
15.03.2016 Member States seminar series: Poland
Picture: Marta Leśniak, Regional Operational Programmes Department, Ministry of Economic Development, Poland; Agata Matusiak, European Investment Bank; Gedas Janėnas, Šiaulių Bankas, Lithuania; Luigi Amati, META Group, Italy   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...
01.03.2016 Member States seminar series: Germany
Picture: Ulrike Schreckenberger, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, 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. More than 70 delegates attended the seminar in Berlin, including representatives from managing authorities, regional or national authorities, audit...
February 2016
04.02.2016 Member States seminar series: The Netherlands
Picture: Norbert van den Hove, Deputy Director Entrepreneurship, Directorate-General for Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Department, 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. More than 60 people participated in the seminar in The...
03.02.2016 Member States seminar series: Malta
Picture: Hon. Ian Borg, Parliamentary Secretary, EU Funds and the EU Presidency 2017, 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. Around 60 people participated in the event in Malta, including representatives from managing authorities and audit authorities, as well as from the banking and...
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. Picture: Alenka Smerkolj, Minister for Cohesion Policy, Slovenia The seminar was well attended with around 100 participants, including representatives from managing authorities and audit authorities, as well as from the banking sector. The...
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. Picture: Nelson Souza, Secretary of State for Development and Cohesion, Portugal This seminar is part of a series of national seminars that will be conducted in almost all EU Member States...
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. New advisory publications on this topic will be launched next week at our fi-...
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 ESIF financial...
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. The flagship fi-compass Conference has been organised to increase awareness about the current...
December 2015
10.12.2015 Second meeting of the fi-compass expert group
A second meeting of the fi-compass expert group composed of experts in personal capacity 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. Rudolf Niessler (Director, DG REGIO) opened the meeting by emphasising that the results achieved so far by fi-compass were promising. The good outreach and positive experiences gained during the first...
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. Each of the fi-compass EAFRD events included an emphasis on explaining the added value of EAFRD financial instruments, learning from already existing experience with...
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.  ESF seminar participants particularly welcome the opportunity to meet...
November 2015
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) to...
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
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. Read more
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. The EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument provides capped guarantees and counter-guarantees covering loan portfolios in the...
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...
July 2015
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. The Financial Instruments most commonly supported by ERDF in 2007-2013 and reflecting market practice have served as the basis for developing off-the-shelf instruments. For example, Lithuania's large-...
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 in...
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 challenges...
April 2015
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...
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 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 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 finance...