On October 21, the European Commission issued a €17 billion inaugural social bond under the EU SURE instrument to help protect jobs and keep people in work.
The funds raised will be transferred to the beneficiary Member States in the form of loans to help them cover the costs directly related to the financing of national short-time work schemes and similar measures as a response to the pandemic. SURE could also finance some health-related measures, in particular at the work place, used to ensure a safe return to normal economic activity. The first beneficiaries are Spain, Italy and Poland.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “For the first time in history, the Commission is issuing social bonds on the market, to raise money that will help keep people in jobs. This unprecedented step matches the extraordinary times we are living in. We are sparing no efforts to safeguard livelihoods in Europe. I'm glad that countries hit badly by the crisis will receive support under SURE rapidly.”
The banks that supported the European Commission with this transaction (“joint bookrunners”) were Barclays (IRL), BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Nomura and UniCredit.
Barclays congratulated the Commission on the successful placement via a projection on its Times Square building in New York City. The projection took place on October 28 for one hour in the morning and for one hour in the afternoon.