EU business rescue fund should be reinstated – MEP Kelly

The European Council needs to reverse their decision to scrap a new fund designed to rescue European businesses from bankruptcy, MEP for Ireland South and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Sean Kelly, has insisted.

The fund in question is the proposed €26 billion Solvency Support Instrument (SSI), which had been designed to use the EU budget to support equity investments in companies with solvency problems. The fund was rejected by the European Council as part of the July 21st Agreement on the Recovery Package and Multiannual Financial Framework.

Kelly, who has been appointed to represent the EPP Group in the European Parliament for negotiations on the file, was speaking following a successful Committee vote on the instrument this week (Tuesday).

“MEPs in the Committee responsible for SMEs have voted emphatically in support of this instrument. The decision by Member States to reject a fund designed to save small businesses around Europe from insolvency at a time when those same businesses are under severe pressure to remain afloat is simply nonsensical”, he said.

“The SSI is a crisis instrument, designed to help otherwise healthy companies weather the storm and support those most impacted by the pandemic. Businesses all over Ireland would have welcomed this additional support at a time when they need it most, and the SSI would have brought significant efficiencies by pooling resources at EU level.

“It is extremely unfortunate that Member States have turned their back on a proposal that could have saved businesses and jobs across the EU in favour of increased nationalisation of the budget. The EU budget is best placed to intervene in a fair and balanced way to protect companies from bankruptcy in a way that doesn’t distort the single market – something that will happen as a result of some Member States being in a better position to provide state aid that others.

“We need to better cooperate at EU level to address the capital shortfall and prevent a prolonged period of lower investment and, as a result, higher unemployment – SSI was perfectly placed to do this. I am therefore calling on Member States to reconsider their position from July and reinstate the budget for this vitally important Solvency Support Instrument”, concluded Mr Kelly.

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