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EU response to the crisis

The economic crisis has prompted intense and sustained action by the European Commission, the EU Member States and the European Central Bank.  

Emerging stronger from the crisis: the European vision

This video offers a brief overview of how the EU has found solutions to tackle the financial crisis, how it is reinforcing its economic and monetary union and how this is paving the way towards a strong political union.

Date: 11.09.2012
Duration 6:15

Financial stability

In May 2010, amid severe tensions in euro area sovereign debt markets, the EU and euro area Member States set up a stabilisation mechanism that consists of

  • the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM)
  • the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF)

On 8 October 2012, a permanent rescue mechanism for euro area Member States - the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - was inaugurated.

From this date onwards, the ESM became the main instrument to finance new programmes. In parallel to the ESM, the EFSF and EFSM will continue managing their existing commitments in relation to the ongoing programmes for Greece, Portugal and Ireland.


>> Intergovernmental support mechanisms

>> The EU as a borrower

Surveillance and the coordination of economic policies

The economic governance architecture has been strengthened so that the EU and the euro area are now better equipped for future challenges.

The crisis clearly showed that economic policy coordination and surveillance had to be reinforced with a view to detect and correct harmful fiscal and macroeconomic trends much earlier than in the past. This is especially important within the euro area, where national economies are particularly strongly interlinked.

The EU inter alia

  • reformed the Stability and Growth Pact (as part of the "Six-Pack" set of legislation)
  • set up the "European semester" of integrated multilateral economic and budgetary surveillance
  • introduced a new procedure for macroeconomic surveillance, the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (as part of the "Six-Pack" set of legislation)
  • agreed on two regulations to enhance economic surveillance, coordination, integration and convergence amongst euro area Member States (Two-Pack)

Moreover, 25 Member States agreed on a Treaty for Stability, Coordination and Governance that entered into force on 1 January 2013 and further strengthens budgetary discipline and economic governance among these Member States.


>> EU economic governance

>> Europe 2020 - Europe's growth strategy

However, the work is not finished yet. In November 2012 the Commission presented a Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union, which sets out further steps for the short, medium and long term.


Key events this month

Euro area annual inflation down to 0.5%

16/04/2014Euro area annual inflation was 0.5% in March 2014, down from 0.7% in February. A year earlier the rate was 1.7%. Monthly inflation was 0.9% in March 2014. 

Regional unemployment rates ranged from 2.6% in Oberbayern to 36.3% in Andalucía

15/04/2014Regional unemployment rates varied widely across the 272 NUTS 2 regions of the EU28 in 2013, with the lowest rates recorded in the regions of Oberbayern in Germany (2.6%), Freiburg in Germany and Salzburg in Austria (both 2.9%), Tübingen in Germany and Tirol in Austria (both 3.0%), while the highest rates were registered in five Spanish regions: Andalucía (36.3%), Ceuta (35.6%), Melilla (34.4%), Canarias (34.1%) and Extremadura (33.7%). 

Commission staff carry out fifth Post-Programme Surveillance mission to Latvia


European MEMO Brussels, 10 April 2014 Commission Following the successful conclusion on 20 January 2012 of the three-year financial support by the EU, the fifth Post-Programme Surveillance (PPS) mission to Latvia was carried out by staff of the European Commission from 7 to 10 April, together with the European Central...


Support Group for Cyprus, first Activity Report: helping Cyprus pursue reforms and restore growth


European Commission Press release Brussels, 2 April 2014 The Support Group for Cyprus today published its first report on technical assistance for Cyprus. The Support Group was launched by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in March 2013 to coordinate the technical assistance requested by Cyprus in order to help...


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