Winter newsletter 2017

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The Beacon Winter 2017  
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'FI Campus' attracts more than 300 participants

Our three day event entitled FI Campus was held in Brussels from Wednesday, 29 November to Friday, 1 December 2017. Its focus was on financial instruments under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) in the 2014-2020 programming period, and the event was aimed especially at ESIF managing authorities, financial intermediaries, regions, cities and their stakeholders.

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European Commission guidance published on implementation options for financial instruments

In the 2014-2020 legal framework, the managing authority of a financial instrument has the possibility to choose between several implementation options for financial instrument(s), as appropriate. The purpose of this new guidance note is to explain the implementation options for the management of financial instruments under Article 38(1)(b) of the Common Provisions Regulation.

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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 Funds.

This video illustrates the key features and differences between such financial instrument products.

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Financing investment guarantees for the agri‑food sector in southern France

A new agricultural case study has been published by fi‑compass that describes a French financial instrument from the Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée Region. Our new case study explains how this innovative instrument makes use of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development via a fund of funds structure (named FOSTER TPE-PME) that includes First Loss Portfolio Guarantees supporting the agricultural, food and forestry sectors.

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Financial instruments as a delivery mechanism for European Structural and Investment Funds post 2020

A workshop about financial instruments was organised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy - DG REGIO during the European Week of Regions and Cities. Entitled 'Financial instruments as a delivery mechanism for European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) post 2020,' the workshop's objective was to share experiences from experts involved with setting-up and implementing financial instruments in the 2014-2020 programming period, and to exchange ideas for ESIF post 2020.

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Closure performance data on the 2007-2013 financial engineering instruments

The European Commission has recently published its final 'Summary of data on the progress made in financing and implementing financial engineering instruments reported by the managing authorities' from the 2007-2013 programming period. This data reflects the state of play at closure of 2007-2013 operational programmes (up to end of March 2017) co‑financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund.

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New loans and equity investments for France’s La Réunion island

This article is about a new fund of funds that uses resources from the European Regional Development Fund and from the European Fund for Strategic Investments to assist micro, small and medium-sized enterprises through loans and risk capital in France’s La Réunion region.

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Points of view

Exploring the scope of European Social Fund financial instruments

October saw the fi‑compass advisory services for European Social Fund (ESF) financial instruments focus on opportunities for 'social banking' as well as the importance of capacity building services (CBS) for ESF final recipients and managing authorities.

Madrid was the location for a fi-compass ESF workshop in early October that raised awareness about our fi‑compass CBS and provided advice about managing life cycle stages of ESF financial instruments.

The role of social financial intermediaries in the set-up of national or regional level ESF financial instrument products was main topic for discussion during an ESF event organised last month in Brussels.

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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.

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Estonian success stories with financial instruments

Estonia holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union from July to December during 2017 and fi-compass has been speaking to some of the key actors involved with Estonian financial instruments to find out more about their perspectives. Estonia is one of the first Member States to have fully functional financial instruments contributing to all three of the objectives of EU policies for regional development, agriculture, and fisheries.

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Survey about fi-compass

We are conducting a survey about the fi-compass advisory services through a short online questionnaire and we would be very grateful if you can share your points of view with fi-compass at mid-term and help shape activities during the remainder of the 2014-2020 programming period.

Completing the full survey takes around 10 minutes.

Your responses are completely confidential and we would highly appreciate if you could give us your feedback by clicking here.


Advancing with financial instruments for agriculture and rural development

Over 200 delegates from 25 Member States gathered in Paris on 10 October for the third high-level annual fi‑compass conference on financial instruments using the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The conference aimed to take stock of progress made so far and raise further awareness about how financial instruments can help deliver on EAFRD objectives, especially in the fields of agriculture, agri-food, forestry and rural entrepreneurship. It was opened by Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development who confirmed the role and place that financial instruments must have for agriculture, agri-food and for boosting growth and employment in rural economies.

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Technical assistance for the EU's microfinance sector

Outcomes from the EaSI TA component of fi‑compass have recently included capacity building workshops and the release of a new video.Our new EaSI TA video is introduced by the European Commission's Ann Branch (Head of the Job Creation Unit at DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) who explains that the film "shows how the European Union is helping the European microfinance sector by providing technical assistance."

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Financial instrument opportunities for Finland

Finland was the location of the fi‑compass event ‘ESIF financial instruments in the 2014-2020 programming period – Opportunities for Finnish regions’ organised during September in the city of Kuopio.

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Festive footnote

Everyone from the fi-compass team would like to wish all of our 4400 subscribers to the Beacon newsletter a very enjoyable festive season and a successful New Year.

We are planning for another productive year in 2018 which will build on our results to date. These have already led to 5800 participants registering for more than 50 fi-compass events from all around the EU, as well as nearly 600 000 page views on our website and over 83 000 downloads of advisory information from fi-compass about Member States' advances with financial instruments.

Merry Christmas from fi-compass

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