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Financial Instruments for Enterprises in 2007-13: a Practice Run for 2014-20?

Fiona Wishlade, Rona Michie, Giovanni Familiari, Peter Schneidewind, Andreas Resch


The 2007-13 planning period saw a new and significant emphasis on the use of so-called ‘financial instruments’ as measures to implement Cohesion policy. This was justified by the Commission on the basis that such instruments are more sustainable than grants, that they can generate better quality projects and that they are a more efficient use of public funds. However, for many Member States financial instruments were a new approach to delivering Cohesion policy in 2007-13, and their increased use created significant challenges. In considering this experience, this article draws on the findings of the ex post evaluation of financial instruments for enterprise support under the ERDF and Cohesion Fund. It assesses the scale of support provided through co-financed financial instruments in 2007-13, considers the rationales of managing authorities opting to use financial instruments, outlines how financial instruments were implemented in practice and provides some initial indications of their effectiveness.

Fiona Wishlade and Rona Michie are Director and Senior Research Fellow respectively at the European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde. Giovanni Familiari is a partner at t33 srl, Peter Schneidewind is member of the Management Board of Metis GmbH, and Andreas Resch senior consultant at Metis GmbH. The views expressed in this article are personal.

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