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Tuesday, 24 March 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Green Paper on territorial cohesion and debate on the future reform of the cohesion policy - Regional policy best practice and obstacles to use of Structural Funds - Urban dimension of cohesion policy - Complementarities and coordination of cohesion policy with rural development measures - Implementation of the Structural Funds Regulation 2007-2013: results of negotiations on national cohesion strategies and operational programmes - A European initiative for the development of micro-credit in support of growth and employment (debate)

  Lívia Járóka (PPE-DE), in writing. – (HU) I would like to congratulate my fellow Member, Mr Becsey, on his report advocating the development of the micro-credit system in support of economic growth and employment. The document rightly points out that disadvantaged groups, including the long-term unemployed, welfare dependants, and ethnic minorities such as the Roma, in particular, should be the focus of European initiatives regarding micro-credit.

Micro-financing has proven highly successful in numerous countries in promoting social and economic integration by supporting self-employment. At a time of financial crisis, simple financial instruments that are able to fund business, especially in underdeveloped regions or the above-mentioned social groups, are of particular value. Those wishing to run small family businesses can face significant difficulties in tenders administered within the framework of cohesion policy, especially in the case of cofinancing. The creation, or restoration, of social cohesion must take precedence over profit-making, since support for self-employment is far less costly than unemployment benefits, and thus from the perspective of the national economy it is worth providing micro-credit even if from a strictly financial point of view it might not be profitable. The micro-credit system must be made accessible to those who are not ‘bankable’, that is, to people who cannot obtain credit from the traditional banking sector because of their high risk, low margins and danger of non-performance, and it should make possible the targeted involvement of disadvantaged groups.

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