European Union launches a new Marshall Plan to address the COVID-19 crisis:2,770 billion euros, divided in various expenditure headings. Created to combat unemployment, the SURE fund has seen the addition of the Fund for the needy, the Aid to fishermen and farmers, the Plan to recalibrate all aids of cohesion policies and a a support tool to deal with the emergency. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, introduced this set of cooperative measures without mincing words:”It’s the widest financial response to a European crisis in history”.
The prerequisite of the intervention is acknowledging how radically our daily life changed. “Millions of people can’t go to work – the president explained – however, they still have to buy food and pay the bills. Companies pay salaries to their employees, even if in this moment they’re not earning. Europe now comes in their support with a new initiative called “SURE”, as in ‘safe’”.
This tool comes from the experience of the 2008 financial crisis. At the time, European states joined forces to save jobs, allowing companies to overcome the emergency. The basic idea was that the State had to support the work for a short period. This intervention succeeded in reducing the effects of recession, adopting a very topical approach with the chain closings caused by COVID-19: in the absence of new orders, companies don’t have to lay off their workers, but receive the necessary support to get through the night. “For example, in their free time, workers will be able to learn new skills” Ursula von der Leyen continued, “this will also benefit companies. In this way, people can keep paying rents and buy what they need. This also has a positive impact on economy”.