Financial Instruments in Cohesion Policy

Financial instruments represent a resource-efficient way of deploying cohesion policy resources in pursuit of the Europe 2020 Strategy objectives. Targeting projects with potential economic viability, financial instruments provide support for investments by way of loans, guarantees, equity and other risk-bearing mechanisms, possibly combined with technical support, interest rate subsidies or guarantee fee subsidies within the same operation.

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    The registrations for the fi-compass seminar series in Member States about Financial Instruments delivering ESI Funds are open for the following locations:

    • Athens, 3 December 2015
    • Lisbon, 18 January 2016
    • Ljubljana, 21 January 2016
    • Valetta, 25 January 2016
    • The Hague, 27 January 2016
    • Nicosia, 4 February 2016
    • London, 18 February 2016
    • Berlin, 25 February 2016

    Please find detailed information on the fi-compass seminars here.

    The purpose of this seminar series is to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to learn more about the advantages, features and suitability of financial instruments in delivering the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014-2020 objectives, with a specific focus on the thematic priorities of the respective Member State.

    Representatives from the European Commission, the European Investment Bank Group as well as national experts will share their expertise and know-how on implementing financial instruments under ESIF in practice. Each seminar will consist of:

    • A plenary session including the presentation of case studies, as well as
    • Training sessions with group work.

    These fi-compass learning events will be particularly useful for Managing Authorities and other public authorities and private sector stakeholders dealing with Financial Instruments under the ERDF, CF, ESF, EMFF, and EAFRD. The main seminar language will be English. Interpretation into the national language will be provided. The registration is free.

    These are events you don't want to miss and there are limited seats available, so please secure your attendance quickly by logging in to your user profile (for already registered fi-compass users) or creating a fi-compass profile here (for new fi-compass users). After being logged in, please proceed with the registration to the chosen event through the calendar of events on our website.

    Please share this information with your colleagues and contacts.
    We look forward to your participation at our fi-compass events.

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Besides the obvious advantages of recycling funds over the long term, financial instruments help to mobilise additional public or private co-investments in order to address market failures in line with Europe 2020 and cohesion policy priorities. Their delivery structures entail additional expertise and know-how, which helps to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of public resource allocation. Moreover, these instruments provide a variety of incentives to better performance, including greater financial discipline at the level of supported projects.

Financial instruments have been used for delivering investments for Structural Funds since the 1994-1999 programming period. Their relative importance has increased during the programming period 2007-2013 and they now represent around 5 % of total European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) resources. In the light of the current economic situation and the increasing scarcity of public resources, financial instruments are expected to play an even stronger role in cohesion policy in the 2014-2020 programming period.


  • fi-compass is designed to meet the needs of ESIF managing authorities, EaSI microfinance providers and other interested parties, by providing practical know-how and learning tools on financial instruments.
  • Financial instruments in ESIF programmes 2014-2020 - A short reference guide for Managing Authorities en pdf
  • Ex-ante assessment methodology for financial instruments in the 2014-2020 programming period
    • General methodology covering all thematic objectives - Quick reference guide en pdf
    • General methodology covering all thematic objectives - Volume I en pdf
    • Strengthening research, technological development and innovation (Thematic objective 1) - Volume II en pdf
    • Enhancing the competitiveness of SME, including agriculture, microcredit and fisheries (Thematic objective 3) - Volume III en pdf
    • Supporting the shift towards low-carbon economy (Thematic objective 4) - Volume IV en pdf
    • Financial instruments for urban and territorial development - Volume V en pdf
    • Ex-ante assessment methodologies for FIs – Training for Managing authorities – June 2014 en pdf
    • Combination of support from a Financial Instrument with other forms of support en pdf
    • Request for payment en pdf
    • Support to enterprises/working capital en pdf


European Commission - DG Regional Policy
Unit B3 - Financial Instruments and relations with International Financial Institutions
Avenue de Beaulieu 5
B-1160 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 296 8125
Fax: +32 2 292 0904