What are the practical effects?

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The new Regulations provide greater flexibility for Member States and managing authorities when designing programmes, both to choose between delivering investments through grants and financial instruments, and to select the most suitable financial instrument. They also give more clarity and certainty in the legal and policy framework for financial instruments. From a budgetary perspective, the strengthening of financial instruments, as catalysts of public and private resources, will help Member States and regions to achieve the strategic investment levels needed to implement the Europe 2020 Strategy. Moreover, if financial instruments are applied more widely and are well-tailored to the specific needs of regions and their target recipients, access to finance can be significantly improved for the benefit of a wide range of socio-economic actors on the ground. FIs can, for example, serve enter¬prises investing in innovation, households wishing to improve the energy efficiency performance of their dwelling, individuals pursuing their business ideas, as well as public infrastructure or productive investment projects that meet the strategic objectives of cohesion policy and deliver the expected outputs of its programmes.