SURE: PES welcomes lifeline for Europe’s workers

25/08/2020

European commissioners Paolo Gentiloni and Nicolas Schmit

File photo: European Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni (L) and European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit

The PES strongly backs the European Commission’s proposal on financial support for unemployment risks, that have been presented to the Council of the EU for approval. We call on the Council to give the green light as soon as possible, so this European solution can be set in motion and Europe’s workers can receive the help they need.

The instrument - Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) - was initiated by progressive European commissioners Paolo Gentiloni and Nicolas Schmit at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. It will provide up to €100 billion to facilitate short time work schemes and prevent job losses during this period of economic uncertainty. Fifteen member states have so far made applications to SURE, amounting to €81.4 billion, demonstrating that this support is a valuable tool to meet the real needs of member states.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“SURE is a lifeline for member states and Europe’s workers. Thanks to the efforts of commissioners Paolo Gentiloni and Nicolas Schmit, we have proposals that can really make a difference. Member states had to take care of the first hit by themselves. Now it is crucial to start injecting the SURE money so this European solution can be realised. I urge ministers gathered in the Council to give the green light so countries can get the support they need. The money must reach workers and companies as soon as possible.”

Socialists and democrats have been at the fore of the push for more support for Europe’s workers during this crisis. The PES strongly supported SURE in our Recovery Plan and the progressive family successfully convinced EU governments to back the mechanism in May.

Sergei Stanishev added:

“Our political family will keep up the pressure on this. As Commission Gentiloni and Commissioner Schmit have said in a joint OpEd published across Europe today, solidarity must not exist only in times of emergency. This mechanism must be the first step towards a permanent European reinsurance scheme for unemployment benefits. This is how we guarantee European solidarity every day.”

Media in several member states have today published an article penned by European commissioners Paolo Gentiloni and Nicolas Schmit, setting out how SURE is a vital shield for the EU to save jobs and enhance solidarity. The PES stood with commissioners Gentiloni and Schmit from the very beginning when, in February, they proposed the idea to reduce the unemployment risks arising from COVID. The mechanism for preventing unemployment during the COVID crisis was included in the PES Recovery Plan, and we managed to convince all EU governments to agree on the mechanism. European socialists and democrats pushed for a serious economic recovery package, which was approved by the European Council in July.