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Abstract

There are now several proposals for complementing the vigorous decision of the ECB to launch a mega ‘pandemic emergency purchase programme’ with fiscal and financial initiatives at the European level. These proposals sometimes overlap, which is a good sign of convergence. This column argues that they are also largely complementary to one another. Hence, it calls for a multi-instrument approach that would jointly achieve three objectives: sharing the cost of the COVID crisis, helping member states to borrow at very long maturities and low interest rates, and relaunching the EU after the crisis. In addition to existing tools, the authors believe that a tryptych built around a COVID fund (with borrowing capacity), specific credit guarantees with the European Investment Bank and dedicated credit lines such as an ESM COVID line or the recently proposed temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) would be appropriate, provided it is sized up and allows for very long-run borrowing.

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