European Council adopts temporary scheme to help EU workers impacted by COVID-19

COVID-19 news

28 May 2020

As a means of protecting jobs which may be adversely impacted by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, the European Council has recently adopted a temporary support scheme to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (‘SURE’). SURE is intended provide up to €100 billion of loans under favourable terms to Member States.

Member States are thereby able to request financial support from the EU to cushion the drastic necessary increases in national public expenditure related to work and health related schemes, such as national short-time work schemes and health measures at the workplace related to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Commission has been tasked with the raising of funds on international capital markets on behalf of the EU and SURE loans will be backed by the EU budget and guarantees provided by Member States according to their share in the EU's gross national income. The total amount of guarantees will be €25 billion. Formally, the financial assistance is to be granted by a decision adopted by the Council on a proposal from the Commission.

SURE will become available after all Member States have provided their guarantees. The instrument is expected to be operational until 31 December 2022. Should the Commission propose an extension of the applicability of SURE, the Council may allow such an extension for a 6-month period each time, depending on the ongoing repercussions of COVID-19 on the economy.

The full text of the press release of the European Council may be accessed here.

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