Signed on the occasion of EIB Forum 2006 in Athens
The Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Hellenic Republic, represented by Mr. Christos Folias, Deputy Minister and the European Investment Fund (EIF) represented by its Chief Executive, Mr. Francis Carpenter, signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the general framework and implementation of JEREMIE , improving SME Access to Finance in the Hellenic Republic, in the context of the EU structural funding period 2007 - 2013.
With this MoU, the Hellenic Republic takes up a pioneering role, showing its readiness to promote and adopt a sophisticated financial engineering approach by concluding one of the first JEREMIE operations in the EU.
In this context, it furthermore confirms its intention to appoint EIF as JEREMIE Fund Manager, responsible for the JEREMIE Holding Fund for Greece, supported by the country's ERDF allocation within the convergence and competitiveness objectives.
In general, the overall cooperation between the Hellenic Authorities and EIF shall include the following tasks for EIF:
PREPARATORY PHASE (2006-07)
- Identification of most suitable instruments to allow the implementation of the Mandate (guarantees, venture capital, microfinance);
- Assist in establishing the structures and instruments suitable for the diffusion of the JEREMIE funds in Greece during the Mandate.
IMPLEMENTATION PHASE (2007 - 2015)
- As Holding Fund Manager: implementation and management of SME and micro-finance actions covered by the Mandate, as identified during the preparatory phase and outlined in the Hellenic National Strategic Reference Framework 2007 - 2013; disbursements to SMEs will be possible until the end of 2015.
EIF will work to mobilise parallel lending from EIB, to support JEREMIE in Greece and ensure close cooperation with the local financial sector.
JEREMIE - Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises - is a joint initiative launched by the European Commission (DG Regio) and EIF (a member of the EIB Group) to improve access to finance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Europe. It enables the EU 27 Member States and the regions to use part of their structural funds allocations (ERDF - European Regional Development Fund 2007-2013) to support start-ups and micro-enterprises through loans, equity, venture capital and guarantees together with EIB Group. Sustainable, tailor-made and revolving financial instruments, aiming to develop and foster the role of entrepreneurship within the EU support are key elements of the Lisbon Agenda and help the structural funding to deliver greater benefits to the market
The European Investment Fund's mandate is to promote the creation, growth, and development of SMEs, in accordance with the strategy of the EU. EIF provides portfolio guarantees and acquires VC fund participations benefiting SMEs. EIF has also been implementing the JEREMIE initiative since late 2005 to facilitate SME's use of EU regional development funds. EIF acts independently and commercially, seeking an appropriate return for its shareholders.