FI Campus 2019, the flagship event of fi-compass, took place on 4 and 5 December 2019 in Brussels. and of course, Innova-FI couldn't miss it! The event attracted over 400 practitioners from managing authorities, financial intermediaries and other stakeholders involved in ESIF financial instruments.
The theme of this year event was ‘Looking ahead to 2021 and beyond’ and the programme featured a number of sessions on the proposed framework for ESIF financial instruments in the 2021-2027 programming period including, inter alia:
- Comprehensive and interactive information sessions on the proposed new Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) as well as the InvestEU Programme - one of the Innova-FI Partners was a keynote speaker, read Inga Beiliūnienė (INVEGA) interview on the topic here!
- Workshops on horizontal topics related to ESIF financial instruments
- Case study sessions on financial instruments under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF);
- Parallel sessions covering financial instruments under the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
The 'First' Day
Opening the event, Eric von Breska, Director, Policy Directorate, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission highlighted the importance of financial instruments in the next programming period. In his opening speech he commented, “the role of financial instruments is not to support banks or financial institutions, but to support investments in the real economy, investments in line with the objectives of the cohesion policy.” He added that “there is significant potential for a wider uptake of financial instruments by expanding beyond loans, the most common financial product, and beyond support to SMEs or energy efficiency.”
Simon Barnes, Head of Advisory Services, European Investment Bank emphasised the theme of the event saying, “now is the time to start planning for the use of financial instruments in the next programming period...”.
' Impact' was also a theme of the keynote speech by Luigi Amati, CEO of META Group, an Italian private equity investment manager, who carried out several equity deals under ERDF financial instruments in a number of EU Member States. Beneath the one-word message ‘CONNECT’ the keynote focused on the importance of mobilising equity investment to support high growth start-ups and growing businesses across Europe.
The 'Second' Day
On Fi-Compass’ second day, Richard Croft, Policy Officer, CFP and Structural Support, Policy and Development & Coordination Unit, DG MARE opened the floor of the “EMFF financial instruments-taking stock of the 2014-2020 experience and looking post-2020” session. Followed by Eduard Koitmaa from the Ministry of Rural Affairs of the Republic of Estonia and Heta Ratasvuori, Senior Specialist, Fisheries Industry, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry from Finland where both explained their countries experience in implementing Financial Instruments under the EMFF.
The second part of the morning for Innova-FI was dedicated to “ERDF financial instruments supporting SME’s, including research, development and innovation (RDI)” where Raffaella Bruzzone from Enterprise Europe Network, among others, presented EEN contribution to the implementation of Financial Instruments in ERDF OPs.
During the afternoon, Bruno Robino, Head of Fi-Compass, European Investment Bank moderated the Fishbowl discussion about Equity Instruments, where George Giakoumakis from the European Investment Fund presented the case of Greece.
The year's event also featured ten of the stories submitted to the fi-compass Showcase 2019, each highlighting the positive impact that financial instruments created in their Member State or region. During the event, participants were invited to vote for their favourite story. The three stories with the most votes were presented with the fi-compass Showcase Award 2019 during the closing session.
More information and the presentations from the event are available on the FI Campus 2019 event page.