Last Updated on Monday, 24 August, 2020 at 6:05 pm by Andre Camilleri
The European Commission has presented proposals to the Council for decisions to grant financial support of €81.4 billion to 15 Member States under the SURE instrument. SURE is 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 the three safety nets agreed by the European Council to shield workers, businesses and countries.
Once the Council approves these proposals, 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:
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 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.