The European Commission and the EIB group organised a conference on "Microfinance in Europe" in Brussels on 9-10 November 2010.
This event marked the official launch of the European Progress Microfinance Facility and was opened by Commissioners Andor and Hahn and EIB Vice-President Mathias Kollatz-Ahnen who spoke on the contribution of microfinance and entrepreneurship to the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy and to social and regional cohesion in the EU.
The introductory session was followed by a round table on the role of public support to promote entrepreneurship and financial inclusion as a way out of the crisis, where EIF Chief Executive Richard Pelly represented the EIB Group.
On the second day, after a presentation on the functioning of the European Progress Microfinance Facility and the JASMINE initiative, parallel sessions were held on the following topics:
- efforts undertaken to develop high quality microfinance and related business services
- the need to improve the environment for microfinance development
- practical setups to facilitate access to microfinance
Practical information on the ongoing EU initiatives in the area of microfinance was made available at information stands during the entire conference.
Back to back to this conference (on 8-9 Nov. at the same venue in Brussels) the Commission organised a thematic review on Promoting entrepreneurship and self employment across Europe in the framework of the Mutual Learning Programme of the European Employment Strategy.