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The Beacon March 2016  
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Flagship fi-compass events spotlight the European Social Fund
Two high level events were organised by fi-compass last 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 authorities, audit bodies, policy makers, as well as stakeholders from the banking and consultancy sectors.
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New EFSI ESIF brochure
New guidelines on combining European Structural and Investment Funds with the EFSI

The Juncker Commission’s top priority is to get Europe growing again and to increase the number of jobs without creating new debt. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe - and European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) both play a crucial role in creating jobs and growth. Read more

  New treasury management guidance note
A new European Commission Guidance note has been published to clarify how Member States should deal with interest or other gains generated from the investment of European Structural & Investment (ESI) Funds contributions to financial instruments. Read more

EAFRD targeted coaching
Targeted coaching for the relevant Member State managing authorities on how best to use financial instrument possibilities available under EU Rural Development funding (EAFRD) has now been launched.
As announced by EU Commissioner Phil Hogan at a fi-compass seminar on financial instruments in October in Riga, this pilot phase foresees targeted coaching for EAFRD managing authorities so that they can better understand and implement the available options, for example by speeding up programming and implementation and removing bottlenecks in the process. Read more

Advice about SME instruments is top priority for many fi-compass stakeholders
As part of our ongoing actions to ensure that fi-compass remains aligned with our stakeholders’ needs, we carried out a user survey at the end of 2015. It highlighted that advice about financial instruments for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) is a top priority for many fi-compass stakeholders. Read more

Improving understanding about EU finance for business
Useful sources of information are made available by the European Commission. DG Growth for example provides a series of handbooks concerning support for SMEs in the context of Cohesion Policy.  Read more

Promoting economically viable financial instruments for public infrastructure
European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) programmes can use financial instruments to develop public infrastructure projects that are economically viable and capable of paying back the support provided. In the current ESIF period this includes among other things improving: transport and energy networks; high-speed internet; community facilities; water quality; and waste management. Read more

fi-compass events help to build knowhow in using financial instruments
The fi-compass seminar series is continuing to attract a wide range of participants who are interested in learning about financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Some 2850 stakeholders have attended the fi-compass events to date. Read more

Expanding the outreach of fi-compass online advisory services 
A social media screening was carried out recently to identify what channels fi-compass stakeholders use the most. This is an opportunity to closely adjust the fi-compass offer on social networking sites to the needs of stakeholders. Read more

Estonia launches new rural development loan funds
Europe’s first EAFRD financial instrument in 2014-2020 has now been launched by Estonia’s Ministry of Rural Affairs. Read more


Fisheries support through financial instruments 
Financial instruments for Europe’s fisheries sector are the focus of a new video released by fi-compass. It features perspectives from the European Commission as well as with managing authorities dealing with the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in Spain. The interviews were filmed during our Spanish Member State seminar.
Interviews in the film highlight that there is still great potential for the use of financial instruments to support sustainable growth in the fisheries sector. Read more


Assessing the value added of loan funds in the agricultural sector 
Szilvia Bencze from the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture presented her managing authority’s experience of rural development instruments at our fi-compass seminar in Latvia. This was one of our regional events focused on the European Agriculture and Rural Development Fund (EAFRD). Ms Bencze and her colleagues have been through the process of assessing the potential of financial instruments for addressing the financial gap in agriculture, an experience she shared with the participants. As a follow-up to her Riga presentation we asked her perspective on the value-added of EAFRD loans. Read more

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