Wednesday, July 04, 2007

European Microfinance Platform set up

Over the past few years, some members of CONCORD have been discussing microfinance funding in a subgroup of our funding working group (FDR). Together they have been successful in convincing Member States that the European Commission should continue to fund NGO microfinance projects. Within the framework of the CGAP forum, CONCORD’s microfinance subgroup has also been actively involved in a consultation on the European Commission’s approach, implementation conditions and criteria for supporting microfinance through NGOs.

The Microfinance subgroup has always had something of a struggle to involve members, however, and in the meantime the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) has been set up. CONCORD has therefore decided that it should no longer lead the work on microfinance. Most of the CONCORD members who work on this are members of the e-MFP and urge others to join this platform too. It is through the e-MFP that lobbying the European Commission – including on behalf of development NGOs – will be handled from now on.

The “transfer” of microfinance issues from CONCORD to the e-MFP is not a sign of any lack of interest on the part of CONCORD, but rather a matter of simplification and constructive collaboration between NGOs and other stakeholders. More about the e-MFP on N.B: The e-MFP should not be confused with the European Microfinance Network (EMN), which works to promote microfinance throughout Western Europe, or the Microfinance Centre (MFC), which is a network of microfinance organisations in Central and Eastern Europe.

Source: CONCORD Flash - June 2007.