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.

Investor presentation

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Press releases on recent bond issues

Commission press releases

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