Neculai-Cristian Surubaru, postdoctoral researcher at Studio Europa Maastricht – Maastricht University, has published an analysis on the COVID-19 crisis. The piece offers an overview of what European Union financial resources have been mobilised to fight the pandemic and towards whom. In addition, it discusses the problematic aspects surrounding the financial support offered by the European Commission and the EU Member States.

Main conclusions and problematic aspects of the EU funds
The analysis includes a schematic overview of the European Union funds that adds up to a whopping 1,520,477 million (1,5 trillion) euros.

Several aspects of these funds, that have been made available to combat the negative economic impact of the coronavirus, can be considered problematic, according to Surubaru. In terms of communication, Surubaru states that “the European institutions and national governments have presented information about these financial resources in a highly fragmented and confusing manner”.

“The European institutions and national governments have presented information about the financial resources to fight the negative effects of the pandemic, in a highly fragmented and confusing manner”. 

Politically speaking, the funds risk exacerbating socio-economic divergence within the EU as some funds from the ECB will support Eurozone members over non-Euro member states.* There is a risk, according to Surubaru, that this may increase existing tensions between illiberal elites in Central and Eastern European countries and the rest of the EU.

In addition, it remains to be seen whether the investments in the ‘Pan-European Guarantee Fund’ – including 200 billion loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) and the Guarantees for SME’s and mid-cap support (40 billion) – can actually be raised. On top of that it is uncertain whether there is enough institutional and administrative capacity on a European and national level to manage and quickly disburse the funding to those in need. 

Read the full article and ask your questions to Surubaru
Read the entire analysis by Surubaru, including an overview of the European Union funds mobilised against COVID-19, here. Would you like to reach out to Surubaru and discuss this topic more in-depth, feel free to contact him via: cristian.surubaru@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

*EU countries that do not use the Euro as their currency: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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