Answer given by Mr Gentiloni on behalf of the European Commission
On 20 March 2020, the Commission proposed the activation of the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) as part of its strategy to respond quickly, forcefully and in a coordinated manner to the coronavirus pandemic. It also provided flexibility under the EU’s State Aid rules and created new support instruments, not least the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and the temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) /1.
SURE provides financial assistance of up to EUR 100 billion to Member States in the form of loans granted on favourable terms for measures aimed at mitigating the risk of unemployment and loss of income by retaining the jobs and skills, as well as for the financing of some health-related measures. Almost 95% of the SURE’s EUR 100 billion envelope have been allocated and almost all allocations disbursed.
The Eurosystem – that is the European Central Bank and national central banks of the Member States whose currency is the euro – enjoys independence under the Treaties in the performance of its tasks, in particular as regards the implementation of the single monetary policy.
The RRF Regulation provides for EUR 672.5 billion (in 2018 prices) in non-repayable support and loan support for reforms and investments undertaken by the Member States. The RRF is a temporary instrument. Swiftly implementing national recovery and resilience plans under the RRF is key to support the recovery, while making our economies and societies more sustainable, inclusive, resilient and fit for the green and digital transitions.
The Commission made clear that a premature withdrawal of fiscal support should be avoided and that coordination of national fiscal policies remains crucial to underpin the recovery /2
1 Council Regulation (EU) 2020/672 of 19 May 2020 on the establishment of a European instrument for temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE) following the COVID-19 outbreak, OJ L 159, 20.5.2020, p. 1 (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legalcontent/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32020R0672&from=en).
2 ‘Economic policy coordination in 2021: overcoming COVID-19, supporting the recovery and modernising our economy’, Brussels, 2 June 2021, COM(2021) 500 final (https://ec.europa.eu/info/system/files/com-2021-500_en.pdf).
© European Union, 2021 – EP