More than 200 representatives from Governments, financial institutions and public administrations gather today in Brussels in a 3-day event launched by the European Commision and the European Investment Bank.

The topic, how to increase the use of financial instruments in the deployment of the Structural Funds, in detriment of non-reimbursable grants. Workshops, learning sessions and face to face interviews will enable administrations to define specific financial instruments as loans, equity, quasi-equity, guarantee funds, etc,  which are more cost-effective than grants and can provide larger socioeconomic benefits.

The objective of financial instruments is to invest the EU funds in a more effective way, achieving more employment, more economic growth and more social benefits.

FINERPOL in FI-Compass

Up-scaling investments in energy efficiency and renewable energies for buildings is a major challenge to meet 2030 EU targets. National, regional and local administrations have to innovate in the application of public funds in order to raise the leverage of investment that ESIF, and other public funds, can generate in the energy market.

Unfortunately, most of ESIF and public incentives are currently used with non-returnable grant systems. Non-returnable grant policies are showing important weakness compared to other schemes, such as more complex Financial Instruments (FIs), so regional authorities have a key role to play in moving to other support policies which are proving more cost-effective.

FINERPOL is promoting the design of financial instruments for energy renovation of multifamily houses, covering 6 EU regions, which will develop pilot FIs supported by ESIF. This initiative is funded by Interreg Europe Programme with 1,9M€ ERDF.

The use of ESIF, especially ERDF, in the generation of new financial instruments for energy efficiency in buildings is the main challenge for the current period 2014-2020. Especially when Regions try to combine these FIs with other EC funding initiatives, such as EFSI, and wants to leverage the public investment through public-private partnerships, by including private financial institutions in the mix.