The European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group are preparing a joint financial instrument to combine rural development funding with the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the core of the Juncker Commission's Investment Plan for Europe.
Using the EFSI guarantee in combination with European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) will increase the firepower of the support. Details of the initiative will now be discussed and will be announced in due time, including with pilot projects in several Member States over the next two years.
Vice-President Katainen said: "EFSI financing is available to support and already supports agricultural SMEs and economically and technically viable projects in the agri-food sectors. This new Financial Instruments vehicle is a welcome step towards using more financial instruments on the agri-food sector - we are on the right track for more jobs and growth." Commissioner Hogan said: "By developing financial instruments of the right type and right quantity in the agri-food sector, we can dramatically enhance the capacity of our farmers and agri-businesses to innovate, grow, export and create jobs. The new EAFRD – EFSI Initiative is a great new opportunity that offers excellent possibilities for attracting private capital. I am ready to throw my full support behind all Member States willing to open the financial world to their farmers and rural businesses."
The announcement took place at today's 7th Fi-Compass conference, broadcasted live on EbS.
The presentations made at today's event are available on the conference website.