Task Force for a European Social Investment Facility
Informing how social investment funds can support the European Commission's Social Investment Business Initiative

The task force was launched at the ‘Active Europe' conference in Krakow 7-8 September 2011. This event was organised by FEBEA (the European Federation for Ethical and Alternative Banks) - the press release is available here. The launch event took place as a roundtable discussion with social investment stakeholders to agree the contents of a communique, which comprised the main part of a communique submitted to European Commissioner Barnier's consultation on promoting Social Investment Funds as part of the Social Investment Business Initiative.

The communique identified guiding principles that would be required in establishing a European Social Investment Facility (ESIF). Together with other submissions, this shaped the modernisation of the European Structural Investment Funds to deliver a critical mass of investment in key EU priority areas by 2023. The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) are the European Union's main investment policy tool and has a budget of €454 billion for 2014-20.

The objective of the task force for a European Social Investment Facility (ESIF) is to respond to Commissioner Barnier's call for a European Social Bank. It aimed to identify the mechanism that would best develop the European social investment market. Furthermore it wanted to show how EU capital can leverage in non-public capital for social investment. The proposal is for the ESIF to be a European wide mechanism, which is easily accessible by organisations with social goals and can respond to their needs, in order for the European social investment market to function better. The goal is to improve access to the sorts of funding these organisations need, whether it is risk capital, secured loans or any other form of capital.

Summary of the task force's activity:

  • coordinated the views of social investment practitioners across Europe to explore how the European Commission should promote social investment and catalyse an integrated capital market for social investment
  • prepared recommendations to the European Commission for how a European Social Investment Facility could achieve the above goal
  • reached a consensus about the key principles for how such a facility should be structured, operated and implemented to ensure that it is complimentary and additional to what currently exists
  • identified further issues of debate (where there is not yet consensus) which will need to be resolved prior to establishing such a Facility
  • reported its findings to the European Commission


The following presentation is an introduction to the Task Force and calls for the the European Commission to make available the European Structural Investment Funds to catalyse social impact investing across Europe, which in 2015 was implemented in principle by the Commission.

Karl H Richter (Executive Director of EngagedX) coordinated the project in his capacity as Advisor on Social Impact Investment to the Euclid Network. Read more here.