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Microenterprises and Social Inclusion: Aid becomes reality

Microenterprises and Social Inclusion: Aid becomes reality

2010. 02. 12.

After thorough negotiations with the European Commission and the Council, the European Parliament voted for the financial means that will guarantee the launching and implementation of the instrument. Consequently, the EPP Group has expressed its support for the quick implementation of this instrument that consists mainly of granting financial access to persons that are facing problems regarding the conventional credit market in order to start or further develop their economic activity by means of a microenterprise.
 
This great success for the EPP Group was represented by Traian Ungureanu MEP as Shadow Rapporteur and Csaba Őry MEP as Coordinator in the Employment Committee who assisted in making this facility available as soon as possible to the citizens of the EU27 by closing the dossier at 1st reading.
 
This action was taken as the two MEPs considered that the negative effects of the economic crisis upon the labour markets had to be counteracted immediately. Through their efforts during the negotiation procedures, they have tried to protect, on the one hand, the actions that can be financed through the Progress Programme, and, on the other hand, to find viable financial solutions to implement the European Progress Microfinance Facility for Employment and Social Inclusion. This instrument represents a breakthrough as it focuses on providing loans to microenterprises (companies that have a maximum of 10 employees) and at the same time provides incentives to financial or non-financial institutions to engage in granting credits for such stakeholders. The risk from the loans will be guaranteed by the European Commission together with the EIB Group, EIF and other financial institutions.
 
The first concrete steps will be taken in the summer of 2010, as the European Commission has almost closed the negotiations to develop two fiduciary agreements that will provide the financial guarantees for the loan providers. The total amount that was voted in the European Parliament for the Microfinance facility is €100m. The project will be developed over 4 years, between 2010-2013. However, this amount will be increased once the other actors match the funds. The eligibility criteria and the rules for accessing this facility are to be decided soon.
 
The importance of creating this instrument is incontestable and it has always been a focus of attention of the EPP Group. The rapid implementation of this project will alleviate the differences in economic and social levels among the EU Member States.