EU borrowing rules
The EU has about €52 billion in outstanding debt instruments. It has a liquid yield curve (a line that plots the interest rates of its bonds across different maturities) consisting of 18 benchmark issues (outstanding over EUR 1 billion) plus a EUR 600 million "mini-benchmark" maturing in 2020.
- EU borrowing is only permitted to finance loans to countries under its programmes EFSM, BOP, MFA and the recently adopted SURE instrument.
As part of its Recovery Plan, the Commission has proposed that it be exceptionally empowered to borrow to raise funds to fund crisis-repair and recovery actions during the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis.
- Amounts vary from small private placements of several million euros to benchmark-size issues (EUR 1-5 billion).
- Funds raised are lent to countries under almost exactly the same terms (same coupon, maturity and for the same nominal amount). The debt service of the bonds, however, remains the obligation of the EU, which ensures that all payments are made in a timely manner.
- The timing, volume and maturity of issuances are determined by the EU’s lending activities.
- Funding is exclusively denominated in euro.
- The maturity spectrum of newly issued bonds is 3 to 30 years and outstanding maturities are up to the year 2042.
- The EU issues bonds under its EU and Euratom Debt Issuance Programme governed by Luxembourgish law. Alternatively, for private placements, German loan documentation (‘Schuldschein’) is also available.
Press releases on recent bond issues
Commission press releases
- 27 March 2017: EU issued €600 million tap on 0.750% benchmark due April 4th, 2031
- 12 April 2016: Issued a €1.5bn tap of their 0.625% November 2023 line
- 06 April 2016: EU issued a new €2.26 bn 0.75% April 2031 benchmark
- 08 March 2016: EU issued a new €1bn 1.125% April 2036 benchmark
- 08 October 2015: Issued a €1.085bn tap of their 1.375% October 2029 line
- 24 September 2015: EU issued a new €2bn 0.625% November 2023 benchmark
- 15 September 2015: EU issued a new 1.5% October 2035 EUR 2bn benchmark
- 7 May 2015: The European Union disburses €100 million in aid to Tunisia
- 21 April 2015: Commission disburses €10 million assistance to Georgia
- 21 April 2015: EU disburses €250 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine
- 10 February 2015: €100 million of EU Macro-Financial Assistance disbursed to Jordan
- 27 January 2015: EU disburses €13 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Georgia
- 3 Decembre 2014: €500 million of EU Macro-Financial Assistance disbursed for Ukraine
- 12 November 2014: €260 million of EU Macro-Financial Assistance disbursed for Ukraine
- 12 November 2014: Final disbursement made from EU financial assistance programme
- 18 March 2014: EU issues €2.6 billion 10-year bond for Ireland and Portugal
- 26 June 2012: EU placed € 2.3 billion long 15-year bond in support of Ireland
- 26 April 2012: EU € 2.7 billion 10-year bond for Portugal strongly oversubscribed
- 17 April 2012: EU places €1.8 billion 26-year bond for Portugal
- 27 February 2012: EU issues €3 billion 20 year bond for Ireland
- 9 January 2012: EU successfully issued long-term bond with 30y maturity, funding loans of €3 bn for Ireland and Portugal
- 29 September 2011: EU concludes funding programme in September with €1.1 billion 7 year bond
- 22 September 2011: Strong demand for EU € 4 billion 15y bond in support of Ireland and Portugal
- 14 September 2011: EU issues € 5 billion bond to finance loan for Portugal
- 12 September 2011: EU to issue new 10 year bond for Portugal this week
- 25 May 2011: Second €4.75 billion bond issued this week to support EU´s assistance packages
- 24 May 2011: €4.75 billion bond issued for EU´s assistance packages to Ireland and Portugal
- 17 March 2011: €4.6 billion bond issued to assist Ireland and Romania
- 5 January 2011: € 5 billion bond issue for Ireland