The COVID-19 pandemic has rampaged across Europe over the last few weeks demanding urgent action from lawmakers and institutions. The increasing contagions and death toll have forced the majority of EU Member States to declare a total or partial nationwide lockdown. Italy, the country which the disease has hit hardest in Europe, has imposed the most restrictive measures. On March 22nd, the Italian government was the first EU country to give the order to stop all productive activities which are not strictly necessary in a last effort to contain the pandemic.
All member states have banned non-essential travel outside their borders, and as a result border checks have been reintroduced for the first time since 1995.
Shutting down borders and businesses will have a great impact on the European economy. Experts suggest that the Eurozone’s GDP could shrink by 1.8% / 3.3% by the end of July.
In order to minimize the fallout of the economy due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the EU and its member states have taken a number of actions to support small and medium-sized enterprises, employers and the labour market.
Using the dossiers from EU Issue Tracker, FiscalNote has put together a comprehensive list of where each EU Member State is in terms of locking down their country from within as well as the economic measures that various EU institutions have taken to keep business across the EU alive despite the rampant shutting down of businesses.
The member states who have been hit the hardest by the outbreak have put in place the most expensive measures to support the economy. The Italian government has adopted a €25bn support package including loans to SMEs, tax deadline referrals and suspension on tax payments for specific sectors.
The French Government announced that it will guarantee €300bn of bank loans to businesses and will introduce a €45bn aid package for small businesses in the form of reduced social security contributions.
In Spain, small businesses and freelance workers are currently exempt from tax payment. The government has also announced a €400m credit line for the tourism sector and €100bn in guarantees to support all businesses.
Germany, the largest economy in the EU, approved an unprecedented stimulus package worth over €750 billion, including €600 billion for business loans and over €150 billion in debt to support social spending.
Altogether, the Council of the EU estimates that the European Union and its member states are expected to mobilize at least 2 percent of the EU GDP in fiscal measures and at least 13 percent of the EU GDP in liquidity support.
As the epidemic evolves, EU member states are likely to impose stricter lockdown measures causing even greater damage to the continent’s economy.
As the situation evolves rapidly, the number of measures being introduced across the EU member states related to the virus is changing daily.
If you would like to see the full landscape of the measures that are being taken at the European level to minimize the impact of COVID-19, click here to request a demo of EU Issue Tracker.
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Note: This information is up-to-date as of March 30th
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