New opportunities for rural development financial instruments in Europe

Simplified rules and a broader remit for financial instruments were among the key topics presented during our ‘Fourth annual EU conference on EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020’ that took place in Bulgaria from June 5 – 6. Over 200 delegates participated in the conference and these included managing authorities of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), financial intermediaries interested in using EAFRD financial instruments, experts from the European Commission and European Investment Bank Group, as well as a variety of other EAFRD stakeholders.

Promoting microfinance good practices from the Netherlands

Business strategies and digital innovation for microfinance institutions were the themes for a fi-compass event that took place last month in the Netherlands. Advice about business development services (BDS) for microfinance recipients was also provided during the fi-compass seminar, which was organised with technical assistance from the EU's Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI TA).

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.

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.

Financial instruments workshop at 'The European Week of Regions and Cities'

In the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities, the European Commission's Directorate‑General for Regional and Urban Policy is organising a workshop titled: 'Financial Instrument as a delivery mechanism for ESIF post 2020'. This workshop will contribute to the debate on the role of financial instruments in delivering cohesion policy in post 2020. 

Online advice about reporting requirements for financial instruments

Practical advice for managing authorities about financial instrument reporting requirements have been provided recently through a new type of advisory service from fi‑compass.

In our online learning seminar, European Commission experts explained how to fulfil the mandatory reporting obligations required under Article 46 of the Common Provisions Regulation (No 1303/2013, CPR), using video presentations and a series of step‑by‑step instructions based on the annotated reporting template.

Managing authorities were invited to submit their questions about the reporting requirements and template sections in advance of the seminar. This helped to address a wide range of queries from Member States on different topics related to reporting.