What is SURE and why is the Commission proposing it?
The new instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) is designed to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It will provide financial assistance, in the form of loans granted on favourable terms from the EU to Member States, of up to €100 billion in total. These loans will assist Member States to address sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment. Specifically, these loans will help Member States to cover the costs directly related to the creation or extension of national short-time work schemes, and other similar measures they have put in place for the self-employed as a response to the current coronavirus pandemic.
What are short-time work schemes?
Short-time work schemes are programmes that under certain circumstances allow firms experiencing economic difficulties to temporarily reduce the hours worked by their employees, which are provided with public income support for the hours not worked. Similar schemes apply for income replacement for the self-employed.
Why is the Commission focusing on supporting short-time work schemes?
The SURE instrument is just one element of the Commission’s comprehensive strategy to protect citizens and mitigate the pandemic’s severely negative socio-economic consequences.
How much funding will be available for the EU as a whole and for individual Member States?
Up to €100 billion in total financial assistance will be available to all Member States.
There are no pre-allocated envelopes for Member States.
How will the Commission secure and provide funding for the SURE instrument?
Financial assistance under the SURE instrument will take the form of a loan from the EU to the Member States that request support.
To finance the loans to Member States, the Commission will borrow on financial markets. The Commission would then provide the loans to Member States on favourable conditions. Member States would, therefore, benefit from the EU’s strong credit rating and low borrowing costs.
What are the next steps?
The Commission’s proposal for a SURE instrument will need to be swiftly approved by the Council.
The new instrument will be of a temporary nature. Its duration and scope are limited to tackling the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.