Bulgarian Council of Ministers Proposes EU SURE Instrument to Mitigate Covid-19 Crisis

Business | December 15, 2020, Tuesday // 15:53
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Council of Ministers Proposes EU SURE Instrument to Mitigate Covid-19 Crisis pexels.com

At an extraordinary meeting, the Council of Ministers decided to propose to the National Assembly to ratify by law the Loan Agreement between the European Union as a lender and the Republic of Bulgaria as a borrower under the SURE instrument, the government press office said.

The maximum amount of funds that the European Union can allocate to Bulgaria under the SURE instrument is EUR 511 000 000, with a 15-year maximum average maturity. The period of availability of the financial assistance granted shall be 18 months counted from 30 September 2020.

We forward our decision to the National Assembly as soon as possible so that our country can start implementing the SURE tool in a short time. Thus, we will complement our national efforts to overcome the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences for workers and the self-employed, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said at the meeting.

Finance Minister Kiril Ananiev noted that the European instrument on average between 4,500 and 5,000 employers are expected to be supported to keep at work about 140,000 employees.

On 7 August, Bulgaria made a formal request for financial assistance under the SURE instrument. The agreement was signed by Finance Minister Kiril Ananiev on 26 November and by the European Commission on 11 December, the communication said.

What SURE is about

The European instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) The temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) is available for Member States that need to mobilise significant financial means to fight the negative economic and social consequences of the coronavirus outbreak on their territory.

It can provide financial assistance of up to EUR 100 billion in EU loans to the Member States concerned for them to cope with a sudden increase in public spending in order to preserve employment, the explanation on the European Commission's page says.

SURE is a very important element of the EU's large-scale strategy to protect citizens and mitigate the severe socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the EC points out.

The instrument supports reduced working time schemes and similar measures, with the intention of helping EU countries protect jobs and thus employees and the self-employed from the risk of unemployment and loss of income.

How the aid is granted

Financial support is provided in the form of loans granted on favourable terms by the EU to Member States. These loans will help EU countries to cover costs directly linked to the financing of national part-time working arrangements and similar measures they have put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic, in particular for the self-employed.

In addition, certain health-related measures, in particular at work, could also be financed under the SURE instrument, which are used to ensure a safe return to normal economic activity.

With the latest (so far) proposal of the EC, total financial support under SURE amounts to over EUR 90 billion (total capacity is EUR 100 billion), as EUR 31 billion already allocated to Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, Croatia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovenia, Malta and Latvia.



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