ESM Pandemic Crisis Support
ESM’s role in the European response to Covid-19
On 9 April 2020, the euro area finance ministers (Eurogroup) decided on a comprehensive economic policy response to the COVID-19 crisis. Concretely, three important safety nets for workers, businesses and sovereigns were established, amounting to a package worth €540 billion. The ESM created a safety net for sovereigns in the form of the Pandemic Crisis Support instrument, which became operational on 15 May 2020.
Pandemic Crisis Support was a credit line designed to support ESM Members in the financing of healthcare costs related to the Covid-19 crisis. The ESM could provide loans amounting to 2% a country’s GDP at very low interest rates. Although no Member applied for the facility (which was available until the end of 2022), Pandemic Crisis Support played a useful role during the pandemic crisis by calming and reassuring financial markets that euro area countries could quickly gain access to emergency financing if needed.
Relevant documents related to Europe’s response to the coronavirus crisis
15 May 2020
Response Plan detailing the direct and indirect costs for healthcare, cure and prevention related to Covid-19 Crisis, to be financed by the Pandemic Crisis Support
Draft proposal from the Managing Director to provide financial assistance in the form of a Pandemic Crisis Support
11 May 2020
Preliminary assessments by the European Commission – in liaison with the ECB – confirming the eligibility of all euro area members to ESM’s Pandemic Crisis Support
8 May 2020
7 May 2020
Letter from Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Gentiloni to Eurogroup President Centeno clarifying how the Commission intends to carry out surveillance in the framework of ESM’s Pandemic Crisis Support
23 April 2020
9 April 2020