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Stay informed and connected on the latest COVID-19 developments
The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 saw Europe and in the world focus unprecedented resources and efforts on actions to tackle the outbreak and mitigate the effects of the crisis. It was clear that the outbreak posed a serious threat not only to the global health and wellbeing of citizens, but also to the global economy with potential harmful consequences for commerce and industry. In 2021, the world’s focus is gradually turning towards a global recovery, bolstered by a global vaccine roll-out.
At AmCham EU, our goal has always been to be a valuable source of information for our members and for our stakeholders. We support our members’ efforts and engagement, as well as provide a forum for sharing best practices that are beneficial to everyone in our network. With this in mind, we have developed this webpage to share information and resources on the COVID-19 outbreak.
AmCham EU is closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This health emergency will also have profound social and economic implications. Our member companies are facing new challenges as they strive to adapt to the current circumstances. While economists predict we are heading toward a global recession, strong cooperation between government, business and civil society will be essential to weather the storm.
23 – 26 March – Transatlantic Conference 2021
23 March - Emerging areas for EU-US cooperation
23 February - A new industrial strategy for the EU
9 December - Enabling Europe’s digital future through education
14 October - Rebooting the Transatlantic Economy
AmCham EU wrote a letter to Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, European Commission to emphasise the importance of maintaining global supply chains and to call for clearer definitions of critical infrastructure at this time of COVID-19 emergency.
AmCham EU co-signed a statement with 44 other American Chambers of Commerce from Europe and Eurasia. The mobilisation of resources has been unprecedented and we need continued leadership to address the impact of the crisis on society.
The 2020 edition of the Transatlantic Economy report 2020 stresses the impact the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will have on both the European and US economies. Despite mounting uncertainty, the 2020 report emphasises that the fundamentals of the transatlantic relationship remain strong and will likely play a role in the economic recovery to come.
The European Commission took steps to coordinate a common European response to the global outbreak and limit the spread of the virus and its impact. However, the crisis has also put strain on the European institutions and solidarity amongst Member States, at a time at which cross-border cooperation to tackle a truly global health challenge is more important than ever.
As the crisis evolves, new challenges emerge. Member States must tackle the effects of containment on households and businesses and develop exit strategies to allow for economic activity to start again after weeks of ‘lockdowns’, while continuing to protect the health and security of their citizens. They are helping businesses stay afloat, supporting households and helping to preserve employment. Yet, these are only first steps in tackling broader social and economic aftershocks of the COVID-19 crisis.
The road to the economic recovery will be long. The difficult task ahead for leaders in Europe, and around the world, is to continue to address all these issues simultaneously. There is a tough balancing act ahead of us, which requires management of the short-term economic impact of the health emergency, while laying the foundations for what is coming next.
The EU institutions and the Member States have so far taken unprecedented measures to protect citizens and safeguard the economy. Only with continued cooperation and solidarity the EU can we overcome an emergency of the scale of COVID-19 and head towards economic recovery. For a snapshot of the EU response, see our one pager here.
Below is a summary of the already proposed measures.
Instruments offering financial support to Member States:
- The Council adopted on 11 February 2021 the Regulation establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The €672.5 billion facility is at the heart of the EU's recovery effort, Next Generation EU (NGEU): the €750 billion plan agreed by EU leaders in July 2020. The funds will help member states address the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic whilst ensuring that their economies undertake the green and digital transitions; becoming more sustainable and resilient.
- During the European Council of 10-11 December 2020, EU leaders agreed on a recovery package and on the 2021-2027 budget to help the EU rebuild after the pandemic. This will support investment in the green and digital transitions. Read the results here.
- On 21 July 2020, EU leaders agreed on a comprehensive package of €1,824.3 billion which combines the €1 074.3 billion multiannual financial framework (MFF) and an extraordinary €750 billion recovery effort, Next Generation EU (NGEU). Read the results here.
- The Next Generation EU recovery instrument providing support to Member States for €750 bilion. Proposed by the European Commission on the basis of a Franco-German proposal, this instrument is to be approved by the European Parliament and EU Member States.
- Use of the Multiannual Financial Framework to fund an 'unprecedented' EU-wide recovery package to support Member States.
- Temporary lifting of State Aid measures to support businesses and workers. Member States can now provide wage subsidies, suspension of payments of corporate taxes and VAT or social contributions.
- Member States decided on the suspension of the Stability and Growth Pact obligations on Monday, 23 March, in order to allow billions of euros in extra spending to mitigate the severe economic downturn and fund healthcare systems.
- SURE, a European instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency. This initiative provides up to €100 billion in total financial assistance to all Member States to compensate the wage losses due to short-time work schemes.
- Strengthening of the European Investment Bank’s activities: the EIB will create a pan-European guarantee fund which could support €200 billion of financing for companies and SMEs.
- Use of the European Stability Mechanism to provide credit to Member States to support domestic healthcare spending conditions, without conditionality attached.
- Use of the European Stability Mechanism to finance Member States’ healthcare spending.
- Creation of an EU Recovery Fund to support the recovering and provide funding to programmes designed to kick-start the economy. The characteristics of the fund are to be defined more specifically by the European Council on 23 April.
- From the EU budget directed at healthcare systems, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and labour markets funds will be distributed as follows: €37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative; €29 billion EU structural funds; €8 billion of investment liquidity.
EU Member States play a key role in safeguarding the wellbeing of citizens at these difficult times. The present circumstances have created the necessity for decisive action from governments to protect individuals and support a major economic shock across European countries and beyond.
Several EU Member States have developed dedicated webpages to share information and resources on COVID-19 in their respective countries.
Portugal (limited English)
Romania (US Embassy)
The COVID-19 pandemic impacts the whole world. Strong international cooperation, including through the G7 and G20, are essential components of an effective response to the health emergency and successful economic recovery.
The global health crisis we face today is an unprecedented challenge for our society. Our member companies have taken immediate action to protect employees, but also to ensure, wherever possible, business continuity. American companies are committed to Europe and stand ready to help policy-makers as they steer the region through the crisis.
Our member companies are also doing what they can to help local communities in Europe and around the world. They contribute their skills, capacities and infrastructure to provide resources to respond to the crisis and support health workers.
Take a look at some of their stories here.
Our member companies have developed valuable sources of information featuring analysis, best practices for companies, economic forecasts and thought leadership. Have a look below and find a number of resources that provide insights into the impact of COVID-19.
Cambre Associates - COVID-19 EU bulletin
H&K Strategies - United in Crisis; Marketing in a Pandemic – Part of Our New Reality; COVID-19, or the end of free trade; The COVID-19 pandemic – Navigating the rapidly evolving terrain of China’s new consumer landscape; How COVID-19 Will Change Consumer Behavior + Purchase Patterns; Will COVID-19 contaminate the EU’s Green Deal?
Linklaters - COVID-19 Practical legal guidance.
McKinsey & Company - How to restart national economies during the coronavirus crisis
Steelcase - The post-COVID workplace
The AmChams in Europe network brings together 45 AmChams from 43 countries across Europe and Eurasia. The AmChams have been responding to the COVID-19 global outbreak through different initiatives that mobilise member companies and networks so as to support governments’ efforts and the overall economic recovery efforts needed. Find out more about these initiatives from the AmChams in Europe LinkedIn page and from the joint statement highlighting the need for solidarity, coordination and action.
- AmCham Belgium - Read here for the key takeaways on how to ‘get back to work, safely and legally’. Learn how AmCham Belgium member companies are participating in the COVID-19 crisis response and supporting the international business community here.
- AmCham Croatia published their third set of recommendations for economic relief. Read them here.
- AmCham Germany - Read AmCham Germany’s COVID-19 information hub.
- AmCham Hungary has two COVID-19 webpages: one providing essential information on COVID-19 in Hungary and one providing an overview of COVID-19 health and safety in Hungary.
- AmCham Italy’s Corporate Aid Tracker focuses on American companies supporting Italy’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- AmCham Ireland published a report titled 'Make the Bridge Stronger'. The report examines the key role played by Irish operations of US companies in diversified global supply chains, the contribution made to Ireland’s economy and society and the role their teams are currently playing in helping Ireland and the global community respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Israel-America Chamber of Commerce and Holland & Knight partnered to produce a paper on COVID-19 insights.
- AmCham Kosovo has two COVID-19 webpages: one compiling Kosovan government decisions and one highlighting the local community efforts of members.
- AmCham Latvia has a webpage sharing information from members on the impact of COVID-19 on business.
- AmCham North Macedonia has a COVID-19 information hub.
- AmCham Norway has a COVID-19 resource center bringing together the latest reports and best practices from member companies.
- AmCham Poland shared a statement on doing business in times of COVID-19.
- AmCham Romania has a COVID-19 response webpage bringing together business advice and member initiatives.
- AmCham Russia has a ‘Back to Office’ webpage sharing resources from members.
- AmCham Serbia has a COVID-19 information webpage sharing information on the outbreak in Serbia as well as recommendations on business responses and the economic impact of the pandemic.
- AmCham Slovakia has a webpage sharing COVID-19 information for business.
- AmCham Poland shared a statement on doing business in times of COVID-19.
- AmCham Sweden has a COVID-19 update webpage containing information from members and other sources that provide best practices, analysis, tools, and practical advice.
- AmCham Turkey (ABFT) has two COVID-19 webpages: one sharing information on the pandemic in Turkey and one highlighting member responses to the pandemic.
- AmCham Ukraine urged the government of Ukraine to continue with its healthcare reform. Read their statement in detail here. Click here to read daily updates on COVID-19 from AmCham Ukraine.
- BritishAmerican Business has a COVID-19 webpage sharing business support resources.
Stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 developments by checking sources such as:
- The webpage of the European Commission’s coronavirus response team.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) page.
- The specially dedicated webpage of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The US Department of State COVID-19 page.
- The Overseas Security Advisory Council COVID-19 resource page.
- The STEP programme for travel updates.
- The US Chamber of Commerce’s Coronavirus platform, featuring news and tools to support business.
- The EEAS’s EU vs Disinformation dashboard collecting all the disinformation spread by Russia on coronavirus.
- The AmChams in Europe LinkedIn page, including updates from our network and national governments’ activities.
- The United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has established an email to accept private sector inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org. Companies can use this to inquire about general matters or specific shipments relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay up to date with information about COVID-19 from credible, authoritative news sources and public health agencies by following Twitter's live curated coverage here.
Follow the OECD macroeconomic policy response of countries around the world.
For updates related to Belgium, we advise you to register on be.alert to receive the latest updates from Belgian authorities. Guidance from the Belgian government is updated regularly on this website. Please also visit the website of the US Embassy in Belgium here.
Our Business Partners’ Response:
Global Business Alliance: How GBA members are fighting COVID-19.
US Chamber of Commerce: Live blog monitoring the legislative response; Coronavirus Resources and Guides for Small Business; Global Dashboard on COVID-19 Government Policies; US Chamber Foundation Corporate Aid Tracker.
US Council of International Business: Ensuring business continuity during COVID-19.