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The Beacon Autumn 2018  
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New knowledge sharing events from fi-compass

New knowledge sharing events are being organised by fi-compass for managing authorities of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), financial intermediaries and other stakeholders involved with ESIF financial instruments.
Our upcoming events will provide advice about the latest regulatory developments for ESIF financial instruments, as well as exchange practical experiences from experts involved with different types of loan, guarantee and equity funds. New events for the coming months include our FI Campus conference on 3-5 December 2018 and a specialised seminar concentrating on financial intermediaries and equity investments on 15-16 October 2018 in Berlin.

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Supporting venture capital investments in Sweden

The latest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) case study from fi-compass describes the process involved with preparing an ex-ante assessment in Sweden for the use of venture capital financial instruments.
Private venture capital investments decreased in Sweden following the 2008-2009 economic crisis and this had a negative impact on small and medium-sized enterprises in the early stages of growth.

Sweden’s ERDF managing authority, Tillvaxverket, was aware that financial instruments supported by the ERDF could help fill this financing gap.
In order to help better understand how to develop suitable venture capital financial instruments and in compliance with Article 37(2) of the common provisions regulation, Tillvaxverket carried out an ex-ante assessment. 

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Showcasing financial instruments for the European Social Fund

Our advisory services for European Social Fund (ESF) stakeholders have already involved a number of events this year as well as the release of new videos about ESF financial instruments.

We organised a keynote conference in Brussels where the importance of ESF financial instruments in boosting social impact was underscored by high profile participants including European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen and MEPs.  An ESF workshop in Rome also highlighted the potential of ESF financial instruments - particularly in terms of supporting employment, entrepreneurship and social inclusion.

Case study experiences from ESF financial instrument success stories were featured during the events, and our website’s video gallery has now been expanded to include a useful collection of ESF films from fi-compass.

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Financial instruments for rural Europe

Advisory services from fi-compass covering financial instruments that use the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) have advanced during 2018, with several events taking place and a number of new publications being released.
Our annual EAFRD conference was opened by European Commissioner Phil Hogan who noted how EAFRD financial instruments can play important roles in complementing grants by helping to fill investment gaps for Europe’s rural economy.  Other events included seminars for EAFRD managing authorities and a workshop exploring financial instruments suitable for infrastructure investments in rural areas.
Event presentations featured content from new EAFRD publications produced by fi-compass. These documents include study reports, factsheets, and case study material from 2014-2020 financial instruments using the EAFRD.

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EMFF fisheries aquaculture case study

Fisheries and aquaculture case study

A new case study publication from fi-compass provides an overview of Estonia’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) financial instrument that is active during the 2014–2020 programming period.

Investment loans for aquaculture development as well as growth loans and long-term investment loans for fish processors are provided through this EMFF financial instrument.

Case study content includes descriptions about the design and set-up stages for the loan funds, highlighting governance arrangements and the investment strategy for this EMFF financial instrument.

State aid, product details, initial results and lessons learned are also discussed in the case study.

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Omnibus regulation: simpler rules for use of EU funds adopted

The so-called Omnibus regulation is now in force as of 2 August. The Omnibus regulation revises the EU's financial rules to make them simpler and more focused on results. It includes revisions that simplify the use of financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds.
Hartwig Löger, Austrian Federal Minister for Finance welcomed the Omnibus regulation saying: "I am pleased that we have completed this important exercise in simplifying the EU's budget rules. This will make life easier for everyone. Smaller beneficiaries in particular will gain from these improvements, which include simpler arrangements for the reimbursement of costs. Everyone stands to benefit."

The EU institutions have until 1 January 2019 to adapt to the new rules as far as their administrative expenditure is concerned.

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Public procurement guidance for financial instruments

Updated guidance by the European Commission about public procurement procedures applies to financial instruments using the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). This guidance is designed to help national, regional and local public officials dealing with ESIF to ensure efficient and transparent procurement for EU-funded projects. 

"Helping Member States organise sound tender procedures for EU investments is key to safeguard the EU budget from errors and ensure the maximum impact of each euro the EU spends, for the direct benefit of citizens," said Corina Creţu, European Commissioner for Regional policy.

The guidance, now available in all official EU languages, covers the full procurement process, from preparing and publishing calls, to the selection and evaluation of bids and contract implementation.

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New look for the fi-compass website was updated during the summer with a new look and new content. Our website’s revised design provides users with easier access all our information about financial instruments that use the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
New website content includes an expanded library of information resources. Our collection of Member States’ ex-ante assessment documents has increased and the library’s collection of ‘Other resources’ now contains a wider variety of publications concerning ESIF financial instruments. Also, the video library has a new playlist of people talking about ESIF financial instruments.
We will continue to add new information to and a new development is underway to provide a dedicated section about ESIF financial instruments in each Member State.

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Newsletter subscription

Subscription to our newsletter

We would like to keep in touch with you to help you stay up to date with news from fi-compass about financial instruments using the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

News from fi-compass covers the latest developments from the European Commission about ESIF financial instruments for each of the ESI Funds. Information about new legislation, official guidance and practical experiences from experts involved with different types of loans, guarantees or equity using ESIF are featured in the fi-compass news service. Notifications and updates on training, learning, networking opportunities/events from fi-compass are also advertised through the newsletters.

Please follow the instructions in the ‘Read more’ link to ensure that you have ticked both newsletter subscription options.

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Points of view

Supporting social investment: venture philanthropy perspectives

Opportunities exist for financial instruments to support social investment by working alongside venture philanthropy.

Philanthropy can provide opportunities to help to get new ideas started and the European Venture Philanthropy Association is actively involved in promoting cooperation between social investors and philanthropy.

Their special report, 'Financing for Social Impact - The Key Role of Tailored Financing and Hybrid Finance' aims to increase awareness about how philanthropic funding can be shaped in a way that meets the financial needs of 'social purpose organisations'. The report considers what works and what doesn’t work in supporting social purpose organisations, through grant, debt, equity, and how different financing can be combined to achieve the maximum societal impact.

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Advancing with fi-compass advisory services

Feedback from nearly 400 users of the fi-compass advisory services has helped the European Commission and European Investment Bank to focus the advice that we provide about financial instruments for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
Our mid-term user survey attracted respondents from many ESIF managing authorities as well as national and regional government bodies, EU institutions and public and private sector financial intermediaries.
Stakeholders highlighted demand for best practice information about debt and equity instruments. Other popular topics of interest noted by the survey include State aid, case studies covering later life cycle stages of ESIF financial instruments, and the combination of ESIF financial instruments with other resources, such as grants and the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

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