Europe is confronted with an unprecedented global health crisis. It is already clear that the human and economic cost of this COVID-19 outbreak will be massive. European institutions as well as some member states have promptly put forward some measures that clearly signal the need of a strong public-led strategy for a fast recovery of the European people and economy.
In this moment, policy-making requires support and ideas to design further responses that can meet the scale of the problem. FEPS contributes to this reflection with policy ideas, analysis of the different proposals and open reflections with the new series of FEPS COVID Response Papers and the FEPS COVID Response Webinar, which you can find below.
#4 FEPS COVID Response Paper: Coronavirus: navigating a new storm with an old boat? By Estrella Durá Ferrandis and Irina de Sancho Alonso
How the fiscal and financial architecture of the EU can be changed in order to protect the rights of citizens and the social welfare state in situations of economic crisisThis paper analyses how the financial reforms undertaken by the EU after the 2008 crisis have legally and financially limited the State in its ability to intervene in many areas as well as raising barriers to its protective role.It explores how the macroeconomic and financial architecture that was implemented subsequently placed the financial system and macroeconomic stability on the highest pedestal of European objectives, relegating the rest of the social objectives provided for in the Treaties of the Union to a second category of importance, always subordinated to the achievement of the former.
#3 FEPS COVID Response Paper: Rebuilding after the corona crisis. By Lodewijk Asscher
The Leader of the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), explains how the global health crisis, which metastasised in an economic and social crisis, illustrates a crucial point: the era where the market was king, the individual the solution, and the state the problem is bankrupt, both technically and morally. To avoid that in this crisis, we again sacrifice the most vulnerable and mortgage our future, he considers it is high time to rein in shareholder-capitalism, whilst favouring cooperation over competition when rebuilding after the crisis.
#2 FEPS COVID Response Paper: SURE: A quick fix to be welcomed in the search for long-term solutions. By Francesco Corty, Amandine Crespy
On 1st April, European Commission President von der Leyen announced the proposal to create a European instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE). This instrument is to provide loans-based financial support to member states facing a sudden increase in public expenditure due to their quest to preserve employment. In this policy brief, the authors argue that SURE is a timely and welcome instrument to support member states as they address the short-term challenges of the Covid-19 crisis.
#1 FEPS COVID Response Paper: Debt Monetization and EU Recovery Bonds. By Alberto Botta, Alberto Russo, Eugenio Caverzasi
This policy insight highlights some peculiar characteristics, from an economic point of view, of the current Covid-19 crisis. It looks at its exogenous nature with respect to Eurozone countries, as well as at the complex mix of supply and demand shocks it entails. Given these features, the authors suggest two intertwined policy measures in order to tackle the emergency phase of the crisis and the subsequent recovery.
#2 FEPS COVID Response Webinar: EU Spending that Empowers: for an inclusive and more resilient Europe
This public online event was the occasion to discuss how government spending targeted to social outcomes can play a role in the recovery strategy from the pandemic. It was an opportunity to reflect on how a social investment approach could play a role in the reconstruction of European welfare systems and how it can find its place in the next budget of the European Union. Watch the webinar
Speakers: EU Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, Professor Anton Hemerijck (European University Institute), FEPS Secretary General László Andor, Lieve Fransen (Director of Europa Insights), MEP Irene Tinagli (Chair of ECON EP Committe)
#1 FEPS COVID Response webinar: Is Europe SURE?
The global financial crisis left us with a certainty: the EU is not well equipped with counter-cyclical measures that can promptly respond to negative shocks. Many influential voices have put forward proposals for a stabilisation function within the EU or the Euro area, nonetheless we have entered this new unexpected crisis without the policy tools we needed to offset it. Once again, European institutions have the difficult task now to design and implement new policy arrangements amidst the emergency. In this webinar the expert panel discussed one of the instruments proposed, the "Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency" (SURE), wich is one of the likely innovations brought to life thanks to the pandemic-induced political will. Watch the webinar
Speakers: Frank Vandenbroucke, University of Amsterdam, Theresa Kuhn, Co-Director of the Amsterdam Center for European Studies, Roel Beetsma, Member of the European Fiscal Board, Joan Burton, Former Minister of Social Protection of Ireland, László Andor, FEPS Secretary General