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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
Financial instruments using the European Social Fund
can support a wide range of financially viable
investment projects
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Points of view

December 2017
08.12.2017 New video advice about financial instrument products
A new fi-compass video has just been released to help raise awareness about the main types of financial instruments (e.g. loans, guarantees, equity and quasi-equity) that Member States and regions can choose to use in conjunction with the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds. This video illustrates the key features and differences between such financial instrument products. Our new 10 minute video is based on the fi-compass publication Financial Instrument products and uses simple...
08.12.2017 Lithuanian financial instrument invests in energy efficiency for buildings
Lithuania's financial instrument promoting energy efficiency in apartment buildings has been featured as an interesting case study at fi-compass events, and we went to speak to some of the people involved to find out more about this innovative way of using the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Inesis Kiškis from Lithuania's Ministry of Environment has been involved with the financial instrument from its early planning stages in 2009 and he explains its overall objectives. "The aim...
April 2017
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 was a natural expectation by...
December 2016
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 opportunities for ESF financial instruments to work alongside the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and also how managing authorities can become involved with establishing more financial instruments that draw on...
November 2016
30.11.2016 Improving credit conditions for Estonia's fisheries and aquaculture sector
Eduard Koitmaa from the Fisheries Economics Department at Estonia's Ministry of Rural Affairs was interviewed by fi-compass to gain his insight into what's involved with setting up a financial instrument supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Recalling the background to this process Mr Koitmaa starts by noting that: "The decision to use a financial instrument was based on the ex-ante assessment, which found evidence of market failure and sub-optimal investment...
October 2016
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 through the EU's Programme for Employment and Social Innovation Technical Assistance (EaSI TA), as well as encouraging the exchange of experience between microfinance providers. France's Adie is an established microfinance institution that contributes to this learning process by sharing its...
July 2016
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. Carla Pedro works with the Portuguese Social Innovation Fund which was explained during the fi-compass conference about financial instruments using the European Social Fund (ESF) in February 2016....
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 fi-compass website. Its purpose includes raising awareness about how the European Social Fund (ESF) can be used proactively by Member States...
March 2016
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 the next day by the ‘Microfinance under the European Social Fund 2014-2020’ workshop. These ESF events attracted a broad range of interest from managing...
February 2016
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. Such microfinance instruments can make a real difference to EU citizens by promoting financial and social inclusion. Thus in...
12.02.2016 Microfinance under the European Social Fund (ESF)
Picture: Stefan De Keersmaecker, DG EMPL, European Commission 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. Stefan De Keersmaecker, Deputy Head of Unit at DG EMPL, European Commission, and Per-Erik Eriksson from the European Investment Fund...
12.02.2016 Financial Instruments under the European Social Fund (ESF)
Picture: Andriana Sukova-Tosheva, Director, DG EMPL, European Commission 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. Speaking at the launch of the conference, Andriana Sukova-Tosheva, Director at DG EMPL, European Commission, underlined the...
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 discrimination...
January 2016
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). Mr. Peña Castellot starts by stressing the fact that financial instruments work for the fisheries sector in exactly the same way they work for other sectors, with the view to maximise the impact of investments, which is a key objective of both the...
December 2015
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. CoR recommendations include how to make better use of ESIF financial instruments in Member States to solve territorial development issues and ensure faster economic growth. The opinion calls for a permanent dialogue and cooperation...
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. We are continuing to add more snapshot interviews and the next batch will include EU and national perspectives from our Spanish Member State seminar. Here, members...
November 2015
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. One of these video snapshot interviews is with Barbara Dziubak, from the Polish managing authority who says that she found the “sessions were very useful, especially on the ex-ante assessments...
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...
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. Assessments highlight markets failures and financial gaps, they also estimate the potential added value and provide a solid base for a proposed investment strategy with clear targets and expected results. To help managing authorities with this new required process the European Commission has released an in-depth guidance covering Ex-ante Assessment...
05.11.2015 Financial instruments for efficiency in buildings
As part of our dialogue with financial instrument stakeholders, 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. In Mr Rapf’s opinion: “Financial instruments can either support individual measures targeted at building upgrades or incentivise entire buildings through deep energy...
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 instruments...
October 2015
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. Other key topics discussed by the seminar speakers and delegates included the benefits of financial instruments...
September 2015
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...
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 key...
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. Ms Phelan emphasized the difficulty for...
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. Assessments highlight markets failures and financial gaps, they also estimate the potential added value and provide a solid base for a proposed investment strategy with clear targets and expected results. To help managing authorities with this new required process the European Commission has released an in-depth guidance covering Ex-ante Assessment...
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. I think the conference was very interesting especially for Managing Authorities who are currently preparing the implementation of the Financial Instruments. They could share their experience with...
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...
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 current...
April 2015
21.04.2015 The Investment Plan explained
This article explains the role of ESIF financial instruments in reaching the objectives of the Investment Plan for Europe, as well as the details of the support offered by fi-compass. Panorama Magazine (DG REGIO)  
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 experience...
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. Fiona Wishlade and Rona Michie (European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde)...