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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure DE-2020-13/354 Updated – measures in Germany

Economic stabilisation fund


Country Germany , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 23 March 2020 – 31 December 2024
Context COVID-19, War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Sandra Vogel (IW), Marc Breitenbroich (IW) and Eurofound
Measure added 07 April 2020 (updated 08 November 2023)

Background information

The goal of the measure is to provide liquidity to companies to cushion the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is part of a broader package adopted by the Federal Government at the end of March 2020. The rescue package also includes changes in tax law, all of them directed at easing tax burdens for companies plus further measures facilitating easier access to loans for companies of different sizes, start-up support or financial help for solo- or micro entrepreneurs as well as eased up rules for short-time work.

Content of measure

The German Federal Government set up the economic stabilisation fund and raises additional funds on the capital market, in order to provide a framework that guarantees companies‘ liquidity and solvency. Three instruments are under the umbrella of the Economic Stabilisation fund:

  1. The government provides a guarantee framework worth €400 billion, in order to support companies, if they need to re-finance themselves on the capital market;
  2. The Federal Government provides a credit authorisation worth €100 billion to stabilise the equity base of businesses.
  3. The Federal Government authorises the KfW special programmes, i.e. taking out loans worth another €100 billion.

All these instruments are targeted at companies in the real economy that either provide a balance sheet total of more than €43 million or have more than €50 million in sales revenue or employ more than 249 employees annually (average figures). If smaller companies are important for Germany’s critical infrastructure, they can also be taken into account when granting these measures.

The single measures are also describes in this database:

Read more on the KfW entrepreneur loan , the KfW instant loan for medium-sized entreprises or the direct participation in syndicate financing .


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

28 October 2022

At the end of October 2022, the federal government announced the reactivation of the Economic stabilisation fund. The fund was set up at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to help companies who had been negatively affected by the pandemic. Against the background of the war against Ukraine and rising energy prices, the federal government decided to reopen the fund and equip it with €200 billion to finance energy-related help measures that are included in the government's rescue packages.

30 April 2022

Companies can no longer apply for recapitalisation grants from the Economic Stabilisation Fund. However, applications sent in by 30 April 2022 can still be granted until end of June 2022.

21 December 2021

At the end of 2021, the recapitalisation measures were prolonged until the end of June 2022.

17 March 2021

On 17 March 2021, recapitalisation measures were prolonged until the end of 2021.

30 November 2020

In November 2020, the running time for the economic stabilisation fund was prolonged. Guarantees can be granted until 30 June 2021. Recapitalisation measures can even be applied until the end of September 2021.

Use of measure

No information currently available. However, the KfW issued a press release with the overall usage of the COVID-19 related measures administered by the bank. According to the press release, the KfW received over 70,000 loan applications (worth €50 billion) since 23 March 2020, 98.5% of these application were not higher than €3 million.

In a more recent press release, the KfW updated its previous numbers. As of 11 August 2020, the KfW received 81,359 loan applications, 99.8% of these applications were not higher than €3 million. Overall, 99.7% of all applications have been processed. The KfW has granted a total sum of €42.6 billion.

In another KfW press release from 6 November 2020, the bank stated to have received 95,000 applications for all its additional COVID-19 related programmes. The bank finalised 99% of the applications. Around 97% of the applicants were small and medium-sized companies. Granted sums amounted to a volume of nearly €46 billion. On 17 May 2021, the KfW reported that it has granted €56 billion in funds related to COVID-19 special programmes such as this one (in total).

In addition, the financial agency called Bundesrepublik Deutschland Finanzagentur which manages the Economic Stabilisation Fund, has listed a volume of €8.469 million in stabilisation measures as of March 2021. Companies that received financial support include Lufthansa AG (€5.847 million), TUI AG (€1.241 million), GALERIA Karstadt Kaufhof GmbH (€460 million) or Georgsmarienhütte Holding GmbH (€58 million). On 29 June 2021, new information became available regards the spending on this single programme. ZiA reported that €8.55 billion were granted for 19 cases as part of the Economic Stabilisation Fund.

The latest update by ZIA shows that as of 14 September 2021, €8.69 billion were granted in 21 cases as part of the Economic Stabilisation Fund. As of 14 December 2021, €8.8 billion were granted under this programme. As of 18 May 2022, nearly €9.04 billion were granted under this programme.

As of 30 June 2023, approximately €25 billion in funds have been drawn from the WSF with approximately €5 billion being attributed to 2023. The outstanding volume at this date amounts to around €17 billion.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


German social partners are usually consulted by the Federal Government on broader measures, though no formal tripartite social dialogue structure exists in Germany at the federal level.

Views and reactions

The Confederation of German Employers' Association (BDA) and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) jointly welcomed the crisis package adopted by the Federal Government in spring 2020. Social partners highlighted in the press release to be in support of the KfW administered measures targeting companies.


  • 13 March 2020: DGB and BDA: The social partners share responsibility in the corona crisis over differencesSocial partners neglect differences (DGB und BDA: Die Sozialpartner stellen gemeinsame Verantwortung in der Coronakrise über Differenzen) (
  • 23 March 2020: Rescue package for companies (
  • 30 June 2020: 100 days of KfW Corona aid: tens of thousands of companies benefit from federal support in the fight against the consequences of the pandemic (100 Tage KfW-Corona-Hilfe: Zehntausende Unternehmen profitieren von Unterstützung des Bundes im Kampf gegen Folgen der Pandemie) (
  • 11 August 2020: First half 2O20: KfW grants double (
  • 06 November 2020: KfW special programmes prologned (
  • 19 November 2020: State aid Germany (
  • 17 March 2021: Press release recapitalisation measures March 2021 (
  • 17 May 2021: First quarter 2021 (
  • 29 June 2021: ZIA statistics (
  • 14 December 2021: Grants paid to companies (
  • 21 December 2021: WSF prologned (
  • 28 October 2022: Economic stabilisation fund reopened (
  • 11 July 2023: Press release KfW 11.07.23 (


Eurofound (2020), Economic stabilisation fund, measure DE-2020-13/354 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.