Natura 2000 is the centerpiece of the European Union nature & biodiversity policy. Is the largest network of protected areas in the world. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.
A new instrument was adopted by the EU : small loans and guarantees will be provided to people who have lost their jobs and want to start or further develop their own small business. The European Microfinance Facility will have an initial budget of €100 million which could leverage more than €500 million in cooperation with international financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group.
The initiative is part of the EU's response to the crisis and is especially targeted at those who might not normally obtain loans in the current context of reduced credit supply.
Micro-credit in the EU means loans under €25,000. It is tailored to micro-enterprises, employing fewer than 10 people (91% of all European businesses), and unemployed or inactive people who want to go into self-employment but do not have access to traditional banking services. 99% of start-ups in Europe are micro or small enterprises and one third of these are launched by people who are unemployed.
We offer you some audiovisual material that contains interviews with high level politicians from the European Commission and the European Parliament as well as a concrete example from Belgium on how microfinance can make a real difference.
For more information on microfinance in the EU please see the weblinks below.
Nadege Defrere, Press and Media Officer, Nadege.DEFRERE@ec.europa.eu