Almost six months have passed since the Covid-19 outbreak forced our economies to stop. Within a couple of weeks in the mid of March, the immense majority of European countries closed their borders from their neighbours at a level never before seen since the Second World War. They quarantined their own population on a large scale and stopped unnecessary economic activities. Since then, the GDP in the euro area has fallen to around 12% on average. While the risk of a second outbreak is more realistic than ever, the future of the European economy remains uncertain.
Nevertheless, unlike the 2008 debt crisis, it seems that the European Union, through its related institutions, is moving faster and proactively making vital decisions for the future of its members and the organisation as a whole. In this sense, after arduous negotiations at the beginning of summer, the 27 Heads of State of the EU decided to release a €750.000 million recovery plan for Europe, with a joint debt of around half of this amount.
Besides that, the economic response given to the Covid-19 crisis came not only from the European level but also from many other institutions and regional governments in such diverse ways depending on the nature of the challenge addressed. In some instances, a Regional Development Agency released a series of measures to provide cash flow to the most vulnerable people and companies, whereas in other occasions, an international institution organised a Webinar with the aim of coaching entrepreneurs to digitally transform their businesses.
In EURADA, we decided to compile those and other examples, to try and provide our members and network with a high-quality profitable content thus showing how the Covid-19 was being tackled from different levels. You can find the result of months of research in our dedicated website section, www.economic-responses.eu, where the initiatives are organised in three sections: European RDAs’ good practices, European Institutions’ responses, and Other Initiatives. We hope that this information is still useful for regional authorities, practitioners involved in economic policies and for all those who are interested in the European response to the Covid-19 crisis.