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Slovenia in First Place in Terms of Maintaining Employment With the Help of the EU Instrument SURE!

The SURE instrument is a part of the European Commission’s comprehensive strategy for the protection of EU citizens and the mitigation of negative socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. As part of the EU SURE instruments, the European Commission has issued 62.5 billion euros in social bonds in five rounds in order to protect jobs and keep people working. In terms of providing wage and employment support with the help of the SURE instrument, Slovenia is in the first place.

In February, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that Slovenia had received an additional 931 million euros in loans. The loan is part of the SURE solidarity instrument, which is designed to protect jobs during a pandemic. A total of 1.1 billion euros from the SURE solidarity instrument has been allocated for the financing of temporary work schemes and for the support of workers and companies. Coordinator of the expert advisory group Matej Lahovnik, Ph.D., had already stated at the time that we are not even really aware of how much better the situation is, compared to last year. The release of measures and the circulation of money is expected to start in the spring. Businesses still have relatively low debts, and household savings have increased. “We need to create the conditions for people to start spending money and for the money to start circulating,” he told Siol.

Many companies that are having problems have been forced to suspend or significantly reduce their activities and the working hours of their employees. In order to avoid excessive redundancies, short-term work programmes can prevent the temporary shock from having more serious and longer-term negative consequences for the economy and the labour market in the Member States. This helps maintain family incomes, the productive capacity, as well as the human capital of businesses and the economy as a whole. The SURE instrument provides financial assistance in the form of EU loans to the Member States on favourable terms, totalling up to 100 million euros. These loans will make it easier for the Member States to deal with the sudden increases in the state budget expenditure for job retention. Slovenia was among the first countries to adopt the appropriate legislation for the approval of state guarantee under the scheme.

The Commission has published its first preliminary impact assessment of SURE, a 100-billion-euro instrument designed to protect jobs and incomes affected by the covid-19 pandemic. The report notes that SURE has successfully mitigated the strong socio-economic impact caused by the covid-19 crisis. It helped ensure that the increase in unemployment in the beneficiary Member States during the crisis was significantly lower than during the global financial crisis, despite a larger reduction in GDP.

Sara Bertoncelj

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