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The EU’s financial instruments to strengthen the economic and territorial recovery

Cohesion Policy: a phygital event on July 1st

Redazione Open Innovation

Redazione Open Innovation

Regione Lombardia

Cohesion Policy - delivered through specific funds, the European Structural and Investments Funds (ESIF) - is the EU’s main investment policy to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development and to improve citizens’ quality of life.

Cohesion policy has a strong impact in many fields. Its investments help to achieve many EU policy objectives and complements several EU policies such as those dealing with education, employment, energy, the environment, the single market, research and innovation.

Cohesion policy has been effective in addressing the fallout of ongoing extraordinary crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic and it will be crucialin facing the consequences of the war in Ukraine. In fact, the traditional function of supporting structural investments for territorial development has been combined by an unprecedented role in combating emergencies. The objective remains unchanged: to maintain and increase the level of competitiveness and to provide people with the ideal tools to "react" to changes in the territory and the market.

The new 2021-2027 Cohesion policy programmes will continue to invest in regions and in people, in close coordination with the financial firepower of the NextGenerationEU package.

Indeed, in sharing the objective of supporting an economic recovery that is also sustainable and inclusive, the 2021-2027 cohesion policy programmes must be developed in synergy with national recovery plans.

Public Administrations at all levels (central, regional and local) are called upon to do this, along with the financial entities that represent their operational arms (e.g. promotion institutions and regional financial institutions) in defining both territorial programmes and effective and timely spending models and mechanisms.

The challenge is a major one: the overall financial resources exceed EUR 300 billion.

The new 2021-2027 regulations address the challenges of green and digital transitions, with a focus on future generations, which through simplification of rules and innovation should move Europe towards a zero net carbon economy, further improve connectivity with strategic transport and digital networks and emphasize social inclusion.

In this context, financial instruments (loans, guarantees, equity also in combination with grants) play an increasingly important role as a more efficient and sustainable alternative to complement traditional grant-based support. In addition to the advantage of leveraging additional financial resources, the repayable nature of financial instruments offers incentives for better performance, including greater financial discipline at the level of the projects funded. Last but not least, repayments of these investments become resources available to national authorities, which can be subsequently reinvested in further projects.

With this in mind, Finlombarda, the in-house public financial institution 100% owned by Lombardy Region, organises together with the European Association of Public Banks (EAPB), the National Association of Regional Financial Institutions (ANFIR) and Università degli Studi Internazionali di Roma (UNINT), a phygital event with the aim of taking stock of the present and future of the financial instruments of cohesion policy for the economic and territorial recovery.

Appointment for 1 July 2022 (9:30 am - 1:00 pm) in presence at the Auditorium Gaber of Palazzo Pirelli and online on this platform here.

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