BRUSSELS. 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 favorable terms from the EU to the Member States. These loans will assist the Member States in addressing sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment. Specifically, they will help the 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.
Granting of financial support
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.
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We must do everything in our power to preserve jobs and livelihoods. Today marks an important step in this regard: just four months after I proposed its creation, the Commission is proposing to provide €81.4 billion under the SURE instrument to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic across the EU. SURE is a clear symbol of solidarity in the face of an unprecedented crisis. Europe is committed to protecting citizens.”
Loans provided to the Member States under the SURE instrument will be underpinned by a system of voluntary guarantees from the Member States. The Commission expects that the process of Member States completing their guarantee agreements with the Commission will be completed very shortly.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that works for People, said: “Workers are enduring enormous insecurity, and we need to support them to overcome this crisis and relaunch our economies. That is why the Commission proposed SURE, to help protect workers and facilitate the economic rebound. Today, we welcome Member States’ powerful interest in accessing the cheap funding available under SURE to support short-time work schemes and similar measures, and we look forward to a fast decision process to disburse the loans.”