EU Budget Support in response to COVID-19
The European Union and its Member States, acting together as ‘Team Europe’, are taking comprehensive and decisive action to tackle the destructive impact of COVID-19. They have mobilised € 36 billion for this response, which encompasses emergency actions, support to healthcare systems and assistance to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the pandemic in partner countries. This response is coordinated with international organisations, in particular with the World Health Organisation and the International Monetary Fund.
Budget support is at the centre of the EU response strategy. Currently implemented in 90 countries or overseas territories, it allows for a rapid increase of fiscal space for health, social protection and other essential expenditures, with a strong policy dialogue, transparency, budgetary controls and accountability at its core. It comes in support to policies put in place by our partner countries in response to the pandemic and to the socio-economic consequences of this unprecedented global crisis.
EU budget support has proved instrumental in assisting countries in situations of fragility to build resilience or to recover after a crisis or a natural disaster. It can be provided directly and quickly to help preserving basic state functions and public service delivery towards the most vulnerable, such as healthcare or social protection.
The EU has extensive experience of budget support in crisis and post-disaster contexts. For example, budget support was provided in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis, following earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal, and in Ukraine in 2014 or in the Gambia in 2016 during political transitions.
Erica Gerretsen will open the conference by highlighting the major role of budget support in EU cooperation in general and in response to Covid-19 more specifically. Nathalie Brajard Vom Stein and Xavier Le Mounier will explain how EU budget support responds to the crisis, how it operates and what are the safeguards put in place. There will be many opportunities for Q&A.
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