Special Support Instruments

Joint initiatives were developed by the European Commission (Directorate General for Regional Policy) in co-operation with the European Investment Bank group and other financial institutions in the framework of the 2007-2013 programming period in order to make cohesion policy more efficient and sustainable, they are:


Two of them refer to the promotion of financial engineering instruments (JEREMIE and JESSICA) and JASMINE (as well as JASPERS) operate as technical assistance facilities.49


JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) is an initiative of the European Commission developed together with the European Investment Fund, set up in 2007. It promotes the use of financial engineering instruments to improve access to finance for SMEs via Structural Funds interventions. Contributions from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) are allocated to loan, guarantee or venture capital funds to invest in enterprises. These investments can take the form of equity, loans and/or guarantees.

All EU Member States can use part of their European structural fund allocations to invest in revolving instruments.

These funds that can support creation of new business or expansion of existing ones, access to investment capital by enterprises (particularly SMEs) to modernize and diversify their activities, develop new products, secure and expand market access, business oriented research and development, technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship, technological modernization of productive structures to help reach low carbon economy targets, productive investments which create and safeguard sustainable jobs.

The main benefiters are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). JEREMIE enables structural fund managing authorities to benefit from the expertise from the banking and private sectors and so enhance the effectiveness of their investments in businesses.50


Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA), is an initiative of the European Commission's Directorate General for Regional Policy (DG REGIO) developed in co-operation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) which is aimed at supporting sustainable urban development and regeneration through financial engineering mechanisms. The "JESSICA mechanism" offers to Member States and regions the possibility to invest some of their Structural Funds allocations in revolving funds and so to recycle financial resources in order to enhance and accelerate investments in Europe's urban areas.

All European Union countries can use the programme. JESSICA promotes sustainable urban development by supporting projects in the urban infrastructure - including transport, water/waste water, energy, heritage or cultural sites (for tourism or other sustainable uses), redevelopment of brownfield sites (including site clearance and decontamination), creation of new commercial floor space for SMEs, IT and/or R&D sectors, university buildings (medical, biotech and other specialized facilities) and energy efficiency improvements.

Organizations that can benefit from JESSICA are Local and Regional authorities, Administrations States, Agencies Chambers and SMEs. The principal benefits are recycling of funds, leverage, flexibility and expertise and creativity.51


JASMINE (Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions) is an EU program managed by EIF to help non-bank microfinance institutions to scale up their operations and maximize the impact of microfinance products on microenterprises development and unemployment reduction within the European Union. JASMINE has been successfully implemented in the period 2007-2013 and extended in the framework 2014-2020 programming period. Its objective is to disseminate good practice in the EU as regards microcredit lending, support the development of microcredit providers active in the European Union in various fields such as institutional governance, information systems, risk management and strategic planning (capacity building) and help these intermediaries become sustainable and viable operators on commercial terms.

Countries that can benefit from JASMINE are Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, The Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden and UK with their microfinance institutions.

JASMINE was created to support the development of microcredit providers and microfinance institutions in various areas, such as institutional governance, information systems, risk management and strategic planning and help these intermediaries become sustainable operators on commercial terms.

Target providers are non-bank financial institutions (Greenfield MFIs willing to improve their internal processes and mature MFIs willing to increase the quality of their operations) and licensed Banks never rated by specialized microfinance rating agencies.52