Workshop on Regulations and laws for microfinance in the EU - 20/10/2015

DATE: Tuesday, 20th October at 9am

: headquarters of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
    Jacques Delors Building, Rue Belliard 99 - 1000 Brussels - Room JDE62

EMN and MFC, together with the European Investment Bank Institute (EIBI), organised the Workshop on Regulations and laws for microfinance in the EU: Current situation and opportunities for improvement, within the framework of the First European Microfinance Day. 

In the current economic climate, microcredit represents a particularly important tool for fostering growth and employment in the European Union. Acknowledging this, many EU Member States have introduced and implemented reforms to facilitate the development of microcredits and microcredit providers.

However, except in a few countries, there are no specific regulations governing microcredit in Europe, and the EU microfinance sector is still characterised by a patchwork of legislation primarily targeting the types of institution that provide microcredits. To tackle this situation, the EU Commission, in its Communication 708 of 13 November 2007, identified the need to improve the legal and institutional environment in the Member States. Some of the above actions have been implemented in a few EU countries, but most of them still need to be applied.

The objective of the roundtable was threefold:

  1. to give an overview of the legal framework for microfinance activities in EU countries; 

  2. to provide information on the process for promoting a specific legal framework; and 

  3. to discuss the impact of the legal framework on the development of the microfinance sector, understand whether there is a need and scope for regulatory action at national or EU level and identify the opportunities for improvement

The speakers’ panel was composed of:

  • Product specialist and Responsible for Microfinance at BNP Paribas, Mr Samuel Lefèvre;

  • Of Counsel at Arendt & Medernach, Ms Anne Contreras;

  • Team leader, DG EMPL Unit C2 - Sectorial Employment Challenges, Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship at European Commission, Ms Andrea Maier;

  • Habitat for Humanity International and Board member of the Microfinance Centre, Ms Lucija Popovska;

  • President at Permicro and Secretary General at European Microfinance Network, Mr Corrado Ferretti.

Mr Per-Erik Eriksson, Head of Microfinance at European Investment Fund (EIF), moderated the session.

Presentation of the Helenos project

On the occasion of the first European Microfinance Day, Ms Maria Nowak, Founder of Adie and President of Adie International, and Mr Pierre Valentin, Chairman of the Executive Board of Ecofi Investissements, presented the investment fund Helenos, as preamble of the session. 

The Helenos project, promoted by Adie International and Crédit Coopératif, responds to the need to develop microfinance institutions capable of financing these new entrepreneurs, focusing on MFIs who are just starting and have no access to classical sources of finance.

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9.00 am Registration

9.30 am Presentation of the Helenos project

10.15 am Coffee break

10.45 am Workshop on Regulations and laws for microfinance in the EU

12.45 pm Lunch