The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was created by the euro area Member States following the decisions taken on 9 May 2010 by the Ecofin Council. The EFSF’s mandate is to safeguard financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to euro area Member States within the framework of a macro-economic adjustment programme.
To fulfill its mission, EFSF issues bonds or other debt instruments on the capital markets. The proceeds of these issues are then lent to countries under a programme. The EFSF may also intervene in the primary and secondary bond markets, act on the basis of a precautionary programme and finance recapitalisations of financial institutions through loans to governments.
The EFSF was created as a temporary rescue mechanism. In October 2010, the euro area Member States decided to create a permanent rescue mechanism, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The ESM Treaty was signed in February 2012 and the ESM started its operations on 8 October 2012.
From this date onwards, the ESM will be the sole instrument to finance new programmes. In parallel to the ESM, the EFSF will continue to finance its final ongoing assistance programme (for Greece). When this programme is concluded in December 2014, the EFSF will continue to operate, as it is necessary to roll over outstanding EFSF bonds, which were issued to raise funds for the financial assistance programmes for Ireland, Portugal and Greece. This is necessary because the maturity of loans provided to these countries is longer than the maturity of bonds issued by the EFSF.
As of 1 July 2013, the EFSF may no longer engage in new financing programmes or enter into new loan facility agreements. The ESM is now the sole and permanent mechanism for responding to new requests for financial assistance by euro area Member States. For more information, click here:
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European Financial Stability Facility
6a, Circuit de la Foire Internationale, L-1347 Luxembourg
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
R.C.S. Luxembourg B153414