European Stability Mechanism

Briefing 12-12-2017

A proposal to transform the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a European Monetary Fund (EMF) within EU law was adopted by the Commission on 6 December 2017. The publication of the proposal was announced in Annex I of the 2018 Commission work programme, as one of the actions within the item 'Completing the Economic and Monetary Union'. In the context of the proposal, this briefing provides information on the functioning of the ESM, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. The European Stability Mechanism is an intergovernmental organisation that began operating on 8 October 2012, with the aim of providing financial assistance to euro-area countries experiencing or threatened by severe financing problems, and with a lending capacity of €500 billion. During the last five years, five EU countries: Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Spain have received support from the ESM. Around 33 % of the ESM's lending capacity has been committed.