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Europe readies EUR 81.4 bn to mitigate effects of pandemic

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Europe readies EUR 81.4 bn to mitigate effects of pandemic

Photo © jörn buchheim - Fotolia

(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission presented proposals Monday for financial support of some of EUR 81 billion to 15 EU Member States to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU's new 'SURE' funding mechanism which will provide the funding is seen as a crucial element of the EU's comprehensive strategy to protect citizens and mitigate the severely negative socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. It is one of three safety nets agreed by the EU Council to shield workers, businesses and countries.

Once approved, the financial support will be provided in the form of loans granted on favourable terms from the EU to Member States. These loans will assist Member States in addressing sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment.

Specifically, they will help Member States to cover the costs directly related to the financing of national short-time work schemes, and other similar measures they have put in place as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, in particular for the self-employed.

Following consultations with the Member States that have requested support and after assessing their requests, the Commission proposes to the Council to approve the granting of financial support to:

Belgium €7.8 billion
Bulgaria €511 million
Czechia €2 billion
Greece €2.7 billion
Spain €21.3 billion
Croatia €1 billion
Italy €27.4 billion
Cyprus €479 million
Latvia €192 million
Lithuania €602 million
Malta €244 million
Poland €11.2 billion
Romania €4 billion
Slovakia €631 million
Slovenia €1.1 billion

SURE can provide financial support of up to €100 billion in total to all Member States. The proposals put forward by the Commission to the Council for decisions to grant financial support amount to €81.4 billion and cover 15 Member States. Portugal and Hungary have already submitted formal requests which are being assessed. The Commission says it expects to put forward a proposal to grant support to Portugal and Hungary shortly. Member States which have not yet made formal requests may still do so.

Loans provided to Member States under the SURE instrument will be underpinned by a system of voluntary guarantees from Member States. The Commission expects that the process of Member States finalising their guarantee agreements with the Commission will be completed very shortly.

"Short-time work schemes have played a key role in cushioning the impact on jobs of the COVID-19 pandemic," said the Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni: "SURE is the European Union's contribution to these essential safety nets. It will help to protect workers against unemployment and preserve the jobs and skills that we will need as our economies recover."

Proposals for Council Implementing Decision

SURE Regulation

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