Governments in EU member states have been forcefully responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by using a whole range of measures from loan guarantees for businesses, to deferred taxes, to unemployment benefit and health expenditure. Independent fiscal oversight bodies, tasked to monitor national public finance, are facing an exceptional challenge. Can fiscal sustainability be reconciled with the urgent need to respond to the largest crisis since WWII? How can this be done? Can EU member states continue to act alone? Is there any space for a common EU fiscal response? Representatives of national independent fiscal institutions from Spain, Italy and the Netherlands will share their experience and thoughts on these issues.
Includes the Commission proposals, Factsheets, and Questions and Answers documents.
Saving lives and supporting livelihoods in these times of acute crisis is paramount. The Commission is further increasing its response by proposing to set up a €100 billion solidarity instrument to help workers keep their incomes and help businesses stay afloat, called SURE. It is also proposing to redirect all available structural funds to the response to the coronavirus.
In a virtual address to the Washington International Trade Association on 1 April, Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff highlighted the range of trade-related measures and policy responses governments have adopted worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as ideas for future trade policy responses. He underlined that the WTO provides an essential forum for international cooperation on how trade can best be deployed to fight COVID-19 and to reduce the disease’s severe negative impact on the world economy and jobs.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has developed a new monitor to assess the ability – or otherwise – of emerging economies across its regions to withstand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The idea of issuing joint debt instruments, in particular between euro-area countries, is far from new. It has long been linked in various ways to the Union’s financial integration process and in particular to the implementation of economic and monetary union. In the first decade of the euro, the rationale for creating joint bonds was to reduce market fragmentation and thus obtain efficiency gains. Following the financial and sovereign debt crises, further reasons included managing the crises and preventing future sovereign debt crises, reinforcing financial stability in the euro area, facilitating transmission of monetary policy, breaking the sovereign-bank nexus and enhancing the international role of the euro.
Interview with Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, conducted by Carlos Herrera on 30 March 2020
A briefing by the Economic Governance Support Unit (EGOV) in Cooperation With Policy Department A.
A briefing by the European Parliament Economic Governance Support Unit (EGOV).
The COVID-19 outbreak confronts the European Union with a severe crisis, affecting both individual EU citizens’ lives and society as a whole. Due to its role and centrality in the EU’s institutional framework, the European Council is once again called upon to exercise its crisis-management role. Similarities can be drawn with past crises as regards both short and long-term responses. The main difference to previous crises, for instance, in the economy or on migration, which impacted a limited number of EU policies, is that the COVID-19 crisis touches the entire spectrum of policies at both European and national level, making a common response more challenging, as competences are divided between the different strata of the EU’s multi-level governance system. Ultimately, this crisis has the potential to reshape EU policies, leading to increased cross-policy cooperation and possibly a centrally coordinated response mechanism.
An important element of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic will come from European Union (EU) Member States in the form of fiscal intervention. At the same time, Member States are constrained by the fiscal rules in place at both EU and national level.
New press releases are available.
The COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, and Europe has become one of its epicentres. This represents an unprecedented challenge for Europe’s healthcare systems and a major shock for the continent’s economy. The ECB, national fiscal authorities, and the European Commission have already started to announce plans to support the economy and avoid the current crisis turning into a depression. However, given the severity of the situation, some voices are raised among EU countries in support of a common and significant European response to deal with crisis.
A summary of the meeting is now available.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) backs up the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative of the European Commission. The initiative is aimed at promoting investment in the healthcare systems of the European Member States and other sectors of their economies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, the EU would mobilise cash reserves, i.e. unspent pre-financing for EU funds, and provide financial support.