As part of the ongoing actions to ensure that fi-compass remains aligned with stakeholders’ needs, a user survey was carried out 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.
New Guidance note about interest and other gains generated by European Structural & Investment Funds support paid to financial instrument (Article 43 Common Provisions Regulation)
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. In the context of ESI Funds, the term 'treasury management' is used in relation to Article 43 of the Common Provisions Regulation which provides for investing the ESI Funds contribution to a financial instrument following the principles of sound financial management, and regulates the use of interest and other gains generated thereto.
Business support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remains a common focus for the Member States’ financial instruments. Success factors for these instruments include the importance of managing authorities understanding SMEs financing requirements. Success is also aided when SMEs understand the support available from manging authorities.
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.
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.
Hungary and UK host fi-compass workshops for microcredit providers
Two new workshops are being organised under the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) Programme’s Technical Assistance from fi-compass. The first workshop will focus on the Code of Good Conduct (CoGC) for Microcredit Provision and will take place in Manchester, United Kingdom, on 8 March 2016.
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. The Commission, in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), has published a new brochure that explains how to best combine EFSI and ESI Funds. This brochure is designed to help local authorities and project promoters make full use of the opportunities from these two instruments, which have been designed in a different but complementary way in terms of rationale, design, and legislative framework. They reinforce each other.
Capacity building through knowledge exchange is an important part of the fi-compass mandate. This includes identifying and disseminating knowhow that has been developed by experienced practitioners who are involved in the design and implementation of financial instruments funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
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.
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.