in writing . – I welcome the report by Mr. Schulz. Indeed, microfinance has proved to be a useful tool in promoting self-employment among people who have lost their jobs as well as in helping micro-enterprises to have access to credit in times of crises. However, the microfinance market is still very fragmented in the EU with very different regulations. In many European countries, such as my country Greece, microfinance is the monopoly of banks. Only regulated banks may engage in micro-lending and there is no specific regulation for the sector. So banks have the monopoly but target groups of microfinance —unemployed, disadvantaged people—differ from those of banks. Moreover, as the report highlights, micro-credits are linked to the provision of support services to beneficiaries, again something that it is not usually within the remit of a bank. This has led to a strange situation where microfinance and the EU tools –Progress and the new EaSI- are not fully working in a country, Greece, where —with an unemployed rate above 25%— is so badly needed. We support the report's call to investigate possibilities for non-bank intermediaries to enter the microcredit market without a partnering bank".

(A8-0331/2015 - Sven Schulze)