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Jobs and economy during the coronavirus pandemic

Our first priority is the health of our citizens. At the same time, the coronavirus outbreak is a major shock for the European and global economies. Member States have already adopted or are adopting budgetary, liquidity and policy measures to increase the capacity of their health systems and provide relief to those citizens and sectors that are particularly impacted..

Overview of measures by country

To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and set up a €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector.

In addition, on 2 April, the Commission proposed far-ranging measures to mobilise every euro of the EU budget to protect lives and livelihoods. The Commission launched a new initiative called SURE - Support mitigating Unemployment Risks in Emergency, helping to preserve jobs and support families. It also proposed to redirect all available structural funds to the response to the coronavirus. Farmers and fishermen will also receive support, as will the most deprived of aid. An EU Solidarity for Health Initiative worth €3billion will cater for the needs of Member States’ health systems.

Supporting recovery of EU tourism

The tourism ecosystem has been hit hard by the heavy restrictions on movement and travel imposed in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak. To get it back on track, on 13 May, the Commission proposed a series of measures that would allow for a gradual and coordinated reopening of tourism services and facilities, as well as specific support for tourism businesses. They include:

Liquidity for tourism businesses, in particular small businesses

  • Flexibility under State aid rules allows Member States to introduce schemes, such as guarantee schemes for vouchers and further liquidity schemes, to support companies and to ensure that reimbursement claims caused by the coronavirus pandemic are satisfied.

  • EU funding: The EU continues to provide immediate liquidity to businesses affected by the crisis through the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, under shared management with Member States. In addition, the Commission has made available up to €8 billion in financing for 100,000 small businesses hit by the crisis, with the European Investment Fund.

Saving jobs with up to €100 billion in financial relief from the SURE programme

The SURE programme helps Member States cover the costs of national short-time work schemes and similar measures allow companies to safeguard jobs. The Commission also supports partnerships between employment services, social partners and companies to facilitate reskilling, especially for seasonal workers.

Connecting citizens to local offer, promoting tourism and Europe as a safe tourist destination

Among others, the Commission will continue to work with Member States to promote sustainable tourism in line with the European Green Deal and encourage digital transformation of tourism services. It will also promote pan-European communication campaigns featuring Europe as a tourist destination, and organise a European tourism convention about the future of sustainable, innovative and resilient European tourism ecosystem.