- Technical assistance and advisory facility for member states to help expedite absorption of EU structural and cohesion funds
- Increased support to SMEs in Europe's assisted areas
The EIB Group and the European Commission are developing two new joint initiatives (JASPERS & JEREMIE) with the following objectives:
- to help the recipient countries and regions to ensure that the cohesion and structural funds money is used in good time, ensuring the best economic return in terms of growth and jobs.
- to better combine EU budget resources with the EIB Group financial products.
- to assemble all available expertise from willing partners in order to coordinate their efforts in the same direction.
JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in the European Regions), a Partnership involving the Commission, the EIB and the EBRD
- JASPERS has a clear objective: to help beneficiary countries to absorb structural and cohesion funds and to invest them in good projects.
- JASPERS essentially consists of a team of dedicated experts that is being established within the EIB, in partnership with the EBRD, many of which experts will be posted in the field. They will provide technical assistance to Member States and Regions, in particular in the cohesion countries, with a view to preparing good investment projects.
- The experts will work in close cooperation with the national and regional authorities responsible for the structural funds operational programmes. These authorities will be the clients of JASPERS.
- The experts will also work in cooperation with all partner International Finance Institutions, notably the EBRD who will be a full member of the team together with the EIB, but also probably the World Bank, the Council of Europe Bank and other interested Local and International institutions.
JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro-to-Medium Enterprises)
- JEREMIE is a process whereby the Member States and Regions will be able to use part of their structural funds through the European Investment Fund (EIF) in order to obtain a set of financial products specifically engineered for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. In other words, instead of using grants as such, it will be possible to transform part of the grants into financial products.
- These products include, equity, venture capital, guarantees, loans and technical assistance and they will allow a multiplier effect on the budget. (For each euro coming from the budget, the sum of the financing products available could range from 2 to 10 euros).
- The EIF will work with the full back up of the EIB and its lending capacity, but also as a federator of all other sources of finance from other international, national or local financial institutions, investment funds, micro-credit agencies, etc. on both a public and private level.
- The EIF will work with national and local authorities to design each local scheme à la carte taking into account and adapting to local conditions. A funding agreement will be signed in each case. JEREMIE will play a catalyst role to enhance SME access to finance in the regions.
With JASPERS & JEREMIE, the Commission and the EIB Group are making a significant qualitative jump. European institutions are working together to find joint solutions and to make the most of their synergies. This pragmatic approach is expected to lead to efficient results on the ground. Sound investments will foster growth and create jobs, in turn helping the Lisbon agenda.