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 up to €100 billion in the form of loans from the EU to affected Member States to address sudden increases in public expenditure for the preservation of employment. SURE is a crucial element of the EU's comprehensive strategy to protect citizens and mitigate the severely negative socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

SURE

Specifically, the SURE instrument acts as a second line of defence, supporting short-time work schemes and similar measures, to help Member States protect jobs and thus employees and self-employed against the risk of unemployment and loss of income.

Loans provided to Member States under the SURE instrument are underpinned by a system of voluntary guarantees from Member States. Each Member State’s contribution to the overall amount of the guarantee corresponds to its relative share in the total gross national income (GNI) of the European Union, based on the 2020 EU budget.

The establishment of SURE is a further tangible expression of Union solidarity, whereby the Member States agree to support each other through the Union by making additional financial resources available through loans.

The Council has already approved a total of €87.9 billion in financial support to 17 Member States. In addition, on 16 November, the Commission proposed financial support of €2.5 billion to Ireland which will have to be approved by the Council. The latest Commission proposal brings overall financial support under SURE to €90.3 billion (rounded amount). €31 billion has already been disbursed to Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, Croatia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovenia, Malta and Latvia.

SURE

Member States can still submit requests to receive financial support under SURE which has an overall firepower of up to €100 billion

The financial support is provided in the form of loans granted on favourable terms from the EU to Member States. These loans will assist Member States in addressing sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment in the context of the pandemic crisis. Specifically, they will help Member States to cover the costs directly related to the financing of national short-time work schemes, and other similar measures they have put in place as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, in particular for the self-employed. As an ancillary, SURE could also finance some health-related measures, in particular at the work place, used to ensure a safe return to normal economic activity.

EU SURE social bond

To finance the instrument, the Commission has been issuing social bonds. The Social Bond Framework is meant to provide investors in these bonds with confidence that the funds mobilised will serve a truly social objective.

By 24 November, the European Commission had issued €39.5 billion social bonds in three rounds under the EU SURE instrument to help protect jobs and keep people in work. The issuings consisted of 5-, 10- and 15-year bonds. There was very strong investor interest in these highly rated instruments, and the oversubscription resulted in favourable pricing terms for the bonds. The raised funds are transferred to the beneficiary Member States in the form of loans to help them directly cover the costs related to the financing of national short-time work schemes and similar measures as a response to the pandemic.

On 27 October, the EU SURE social bond was listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, and will be displayed on the Luxembourg Green Exchange, the world’s leading platform exclusively dedicated to sustainable securities.

Press releases

24 November 2020
European Commission issued third emission of EU SURE social bonds

17 November 2020
Commission disburses €14 billion under SURE to nine Member States

16 November 2020
Commission proposes to provide €2.5 billion in financial support to Ireland under SURE.

27 October 2020
Commission disburses €17 billion of SURE support

26 October 2020
SURE: The Commission welcomes Council decision to approve €504 million for Hungary

21 October 2020
European Commission issues first emission of EU SURE social bonds

7 October 2020
European Commission to issue EU SURE bonds of up to €100 billion as social bonds

25 September 2020
Commission welcomes decisions to provide €87.4 billion in financial support to 16 Member States under SURE

25 August 2020
Commission proposes to provide €5.9 billion in financial support for Portugal under SURE

24 August 2020
Coronavirus: Commission proposes to provide €81.4 billion in financial support for 15 Member States under SURE

Timeline

  • 2 April 2020

    The Commission proposed the creation of SURE

  • 19 May 2020

    The Council approved the proposal and adopted the SURE regulation

  • 24-25 August 2020

    The Commission proposed a financial support of €87.3 billion for 16 Member States

  • 22 September 2020

    SURE is activated

  • 25 September 2020

    The Council decided to grant financial support to 16 Member States

  • 7 October 2020

    The Commission proposed financial support of €504 million to Hungary

  • 23 October 2020

    The Council decided to grant financial support of €504 million to Hungary

  • 27 October 2020

    The Commission has disbursed €17 billion to Italy, Spain and Poland

  • 16 November 2020

    The Commission proposed financial support of €2.5 billion to Ireland

  • 17 November 2020

    The Commission has disbursed €14 billion to Italy, Spain, Greece, Croatia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovenia, Malta and Latvia.