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Commissioner László Andor on the European Parliament’s approval of the European Microfinance Facility

11/02/2010

Speaking in Strasbourg following the European Parliament voting, Mr László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion commented: “I warmly welcome today's vote by the European Parliament which clears the way for the adoption of the new European Microfinance Facility for employment and inclusion. This facility will offer a lifeline to people suffering from the crisis and help create new jobs".

He added: "The recent downturn has led to significant job losses in all Member States and, once again, the most vulnerable have borne the brunt of this crisis. That is why our new Microfinance Facility will specifically help vulnerable groups to find an alternative route out of joblessness. The facility will help people set up their own small businesses, offering the opportunity for a fresh start and the chance for micro-entrepreneurs who have trouble accessing credit to realise their ambitions".

Expressing appreciation for the work of the Parliament and the Council, Commissioner Andor said: "I would like to thank the European Parliament and the Rapporteur Ms Göncz for their commitment to this initiative and, in particular, the efforts made by both the European Parliament and the Council to achieve a first reading agreement. The speedy approval of our proposal will directly benefit those most severely hit by the employment effects of the crisis. This also demonstrates that the financial sector needs to be restructured to include initiatives targeting the less well-off. At the same time, the new facility will help boost entrepreneurship in Europe as well as the social economy”.