1st European Microfinance Day “What if we could turn job seekers into job creators?”

The 1st European Microfinance Day (EMD) aims to raise awareness of microfinance as a tool to fight social exclusion and unemployment in Europe.

A central European event is organised in partnership with the EESC in Brussels. A multitude of workshops, debates, expositions, meetings, etc. will take place at local level all across the EU-28.

Microfinance in Europe is quickly becoming a relevant tool to reduce social & financial exclusion through the provision of financial (microcredit, microinsurance, etc.) and non-financial services (trainings, mentoring, etc.). The European microfinance sector offers solutions to the under-served to help them become self-employed and to create jobs across the continent.

To further enhance the development of the sector and its impact, several questions need to be considered by stakeholders all over Europe:

  • Is the current Microfinance definition appropriate for the sector?
  • Are the EU programmes for Microfinance conveniently designed and implemented for the sector’s needs?
  • How could the different regulatory frameworks at national level be better adapted to the development of the sector?
  • Should the EU programmes reinforce specific support measures for the provision of all the non-financial services offered by the sector?

Monday, 19th October 2015 – 5pm
Official Opening followed by a Cocktail Reception

Under the aegis of the Luxembourgish Presidency of the EU, the European Microfinance Day will be inaugurated on the 19th October with a high level opening session addressed to European economic and political decision-makers from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the European Economic and Social Committee, and EU stakeholders in general.

The opening session will be honoured by the presence of Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium and will welcome the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Ms Marianne Thyssen, as keynote speaker.

Mr Patrick Sapy, General Manager at microStart and President of EMN will chair the session, which will be hosted by the President of the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) from the European Economic and Social Committee, Mr Joost van Iersel. The speakers’ panel will be composed of:

  • Luxembourgish Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Mr Nicolas Schmit;
  • MEP, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), Dr Paul Rübig;
  • Vice-President of the EIB, Mr Pim Van Ballekom;
  • Former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and President of the Steering Committee on the use of funds (COSEF) for the Social Cohesion Fund in France, Mr Michel Camdessus;
  • Former President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and President of microStart, Mr Philippe Maystadt;

The event will be followed by a cocktail.

Tuesday, 20th October 2015 – 10am
Workshop on Regulations and laws for microfinance in the EU: Current situation and opportunities for improvement

On the first European Microfinance Day itself, 20th October, the EESC, EMN and MFC, together with the EIB Institute invite you to a Brussels-based workshop on Regulations and laws for microfinance in the EU: Current situation and opportunities for improvement.

The speakers’ panel will be composed of:

  • Head of Social Business (Social Entrepreneurship) and Microfinance at BNP Paribas, Ms Claudia Belli-Jeanteur;
  • Head of Microfinance at European Investment Fund, Mr Per-Erik Eriksson;
  • 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), will moderate the session.

On the occasion of the first European Microfinance Day, Ms Maria Nowak, Founder of Adie and President of Adie International, will present the investment fund Helenos, as preamble of the session.


Please register for both days separately.

Registration for the opening event on 19 October 2015.

Registration for the workshop on 20 October 2015.

Deadline for registration: 14/10/2015

The European Economic and Social Committee cannot cover participants’ travel and subsistence costs.


Follow this conference via webstreaming on the 19th and 20th October 2015.

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