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Parliamentary questions
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25 September 2020
Answer given by Mr Schmit
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002102/2020

Two Coronavirus response investment initiatives were adopted(1), providing for extraordinary flexibility in the use of the European structural and investment funds, including the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). The Commission is committed to ensure that these emergency measures are reaching the most vulnerable, including as regards housing and food aid.

The instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency(2) will provide assistance to Member States through loans to finance short-time work schemes and similar measures aimed to protect workers and self-employed from the risk of unemployment.

The Commission unlocked EUR 1 billion from the European Fund for Strategic Investments that will allow to issue special guarantees to incentivise banks and other lenders to provide liquidity to small and medium-sized enterprises hit by the pandemic, for an estimated financing of EUR 8 billion, and Member States agreed to establish the EUR 25 billion EIB Pan-European Guarantee Fund to mobilise a further EUR 200 billion.

The Commission proposed a revised multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 as well as ‘Next Generation EU’ to support Member States on the consequences of this crisis, towards resilient economies and societies(3). A historic agreement was reached at the Special European Council in July 2020 on both proposals(4), currently pending finalisation by the co-legislators.

These funds will underpin the immediate measures to counter the COVID-19 crisis on EU citizens and SMEs. The future ESF+ will be a key instrument to ensure a socially fair recovery, while the ESF and the FEAD will receive additional funding, to get people back to work and directing aid to the most vulnerable.

(2) https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-and-fiscal-policy-coordination/financial-assistance-eu/funding-mechanisms-and-facilities/sure_en
(3) https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response/recovery-plan-europe_en
(4) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_20_1388
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