The Commission today proposes the activation of the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) as part of its strategy to respond quickly, forcefully and in a coordinated manner to the coronavirus pandemic. Once endorsed by the Council, it will allow Member States to undertake measures to deal adequately with the crisis, while departing from the budgetary requirements that would normally apply under the European fiscal framework.
The proposal represents an important step in fulfilling the Commission's commitment to use all economic policy tools at its disposal to support Member States' in protecting their citizens and mitigating the pandemic's severely negative socio-economic consequences.
The coronavirus pandemic is a major shock for the European and global economies. Member States have already adopted or are adopting budgetary measures to increase the capacity of their health systems and provide relief to those citizens and sectors that are particularly impacted. These measures, together with the fall in economic activity, will contribute to substantially higher budgetary deficits.