The European Commission will help Member States to alleviate the costs of temporary unemployment. The initiative will be presented on Thursday, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced. The financial support is mainly intended for the EU countries Italy and Spain, which have been hit hard by the corona crisis, but is also available to other Member States.
“The idea behind it is simple,” said the German.
“If companies are out of work due to a temporary external shock like the corona outbreak, they shouldn’t have to fire their employees. They will continue to be employed, while learning new skills that would benefit both the company and employees. In the meantime, they can continue to pay the rent and do their shopping. ”
According to various European media, the committee wants to borrow about 100 billion euros on the capital market for this, which the EU budget and the member states would guarantee. Member States can then obtain favorable loans from the committee to finance temporary benefits and paid working time reductions to avoid massive layoffs. During the financial crisis, the day-to-day administration of the EU also used the EU budget to guarantee cheap loans to Greece, Portugal and Ireland. The European emergency fund ESM was later established.
The initiative has been christened Sure by the committee.
“We learned lessons from the financial crisis in 2008. Member States that used this instrument at the time helped millions of people to keep their jobs and drag companies through the crisis with their employees.”
The European trade union syndicate is “very pleased” with the initiative. “The situation of workers is worsening due to the hourly corona crisis. The last thing Europe needs is massive unemployment and another crisis, “said a spokesman. “At the same time, we ask the committee to extend support to all workers, including the self-employed and digital platform workers.”
MEP Bas Eickhout (GroenLinks) supports the proposal for paid working time reduction.
“This proposal must be turned into action quickly.”