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Thoughts on the design of a European Recovery Fund

Óscar Arce (), Iván Kataryniuk (), Paloma Marín () and Javier Pérez ()
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Óscar Arce: Banco de España
Paloma Marín: Banco de España

No 2014, Occasional Papers from Banco de España

Abstract: The European Union (EU) requires swift, lasting and sufficient action to combat the health and economic crisis triggered by COVID-19. The ECB and EU Council’s responses have been effective in mitigating the short-term impact of the crisis and reducing the risks of it becoming protracted by enabling the Member States (MSs) to mobilise a significant volume of funds. Nevertheless, the scale of the crisis has underlined the absence of key shared economic policy instruments. This article analyses the conditions required for an effective European response to the crisis and its possible consequences in the future. First, the article outlines the basic features which should underpin a recovery strategy based on providing a joint response to common structural challenges (the fight against climate change, digitalisation, higher investment in public health and disease prevention, and a restructuring of broad areas of the productive system) with fresh funds and a renewed reform drive. Second, a design proposal for a “Recovery Fund” is set out. Funds will be mobilised with the twofold objective of maintaining suitable financing conditions for MSs’ sovereign debt (which requires giving the Fund the capacity to purchase government debt securities for an extended period of time) and boosting the financing of specific structural projects aligned with the strategic needs of the EU as a whole. This instrument must be efficient (governed by the principle of a suitable and proportionate use of public funds), show solidarity (by making its funds particularly available to those who most need them), be balanced (by eliminating permanent transfer risks resulting from the opportunistic behaviour of Member States) and have conditions attached to ensure that the funds are used to advance the objectives of the recovery strategy. Insofar as its creation is tied to a medium and long-term European strategy, the Fund’s effectiveness should be geared to covering a very extensive time frame, potentially laying the foundations for a permanent structure. And it should be backed by the EU budget, duly strengthened by additional funds from the MSs and receipts from the future introduction of new EU-wide taxes.

Keywords: Recovery Fund; sovereign debt; European economic governance; European Union; fiscal policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E02 E62 F55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 23 pages
Date: 2020-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba and nep-mac
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