EC’s 98.4B euro SURE instrument ‘protected jobs and incomes’ during pandemic – report

The European Commission’s (EC) SURE instrument of close to 100 billion euro, designed to protect jobs and incomes affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, “was crucial in both mitigating the impact of the pandemic in 2020 and facilitating the swift economic rebound in 2021,” an EC report said.

In a statement on June 2, the EC said that the SURE instrument supported about 31.5 million employees and self-employed people and more than 2.5 million businesses.

“SURE effectively encouraged Member States to set up wide-ranging and ambitious short-time work schemes and similar measures at national level, which allowed firms to retain employees and skills, and supported the self-employed,” the EC said.

The June 2 final bi-annual report on the implementation and impact of the SURE instrument shows that it was crucial in both mitigating the impact of the pandemic in 2020 and facilitating the swift economic rebound in 2021, which was faster than in previous crises, the statement said.

SURE – the European instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency – ended on December 31 2022.

Overall, a total of 98.4 billion euro of SURE financial assistance was paid out to 19 EU countries – Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Czechia.

This included additional “top-up” financial assistance of five billion euro that was granted to eight member states in autumn 2022.

Careful monitoring continued in the first months of 2023 to ensure the absorption of all SURE financial assistance, which is now confirmed, the EC said.

To finance the instrument, the Commission issued social bonds on behalf of the EU, becoming the world’s largest social bond issuer, the statement said.

(Photo: Frank Schwichtenberg)

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