The role of social financial intermediaries in deploying financial instruments under the European Social Fund in the 2014-2020 programming period (event in Brussels, 17/10/2017)
The event focused on the role of social financial intermediaries - i.e. social, ethical, alternative, civic and sustainable banks, microcredit providers and other financial intermediaries working in the financial sector – in implementing financial instruments under the ESF. For the very first time ESF stakeholders and financial institutions were gathered in a unique event. Banks of all levels were able to interact, share best practices and foster collaboration with representatives of the social sector. Microcredit providers were also present as financial intermediaries.
Members of the European Parliament and experts from the European Commission stressed the importance of the use of financial instruments as a complement of additional resources to boost investments and deliver public policies in the social field. Participants highlighted the need for a closer relation between the public and the private sector, so that the social sector can have access to credit. In a very fruitful discussion, financial institutions presented initiatives undertaken in order to tackle the social infrastructure gap across the EU. A number of successful ESF co-financed projects were also outlined. The seminar provided an opportunity for stakeholders to improve their knowledge and learn how to make best use of financial instruments under the ESF in order to support the social economy and achieve inclusive growth.
The one-day event concluded with the closing remarks of the Director from DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, who highlighted the importance of this unique initiative. By gathering all stakeholders, the European Commission helped create awareness about financial instruments and the social sector across Europe.