Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out


  • Economic growth in the European Union (EU) has been steady over the past few years, both in terms of its pace and composition. Since 2013, the European economy has seen a relatively stable annual growth pattern, with private consumption serving as the primary driver.

    The outbreak of COVID-19 is likely to impact the outlook going forward and growth in the region will depend on how the pandemic evolves. If it is largely contained by the second half of the year and measures to stop the spread of the virus—including quarantines, travel restrictions, and international border closures—are lifted, economic activity could resume, supply chains could recover, and financial markets and commodity prices could stabilize.

    However, if the virus spreads to most countries and efforts to contain the outbreak spill into the third quarter of 2020, financial market pressures continue, commodity prices remain weak, and domestic healthcare systems are strained, the growth impacts will be more severe.

    Although the magnitudes are uncertain, the pandemic is likely to derail the near-term outlook by interrupting daily activity, putting further downward pressure on commodity prices, disrupting tightly linked global and regional supply chains, reducing travel and tourist arrivals, and decreasing demand for exports from economies in the region.

    There are trade-offs between the health benefits of policies to slow down the spread of the disease and the economic costs of these actions. During these difficult times, it is important for policy makers to act decisively to save lives and invest in their public health systems; but also to minimize the economic cost by strengthening the safety net for the most vulnerable.

    Last Updated: Apr 17, 2020

  • The World Bank offers its clients in the EU two core products - finance and knowledge. Four countries currently benefit from our full portfolio of instruments, including lending and guarantees: Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland and Romania. Projects for each country are guided by a full strategy document called a Country Partnership Framework.

    Country strategy documents for: 

    Work with other EU Member States is primarily realized through advisory services, such as economic analysis or technical assistance, financed by clients themselves (known as Reimbursable Advisory Services, RAS) or through trust funds (TFs) set up by the European Commission.

    Lending commitments in the EU have totaled more than US$ 10 billion since 2012. Over the same period, RAS and TF activities in the EU have totaled well over US$ 100 million.

  • The EUROPE 2020 PROGRAMMATIC TRUST FUND was established to allow the European Commission to avail itself of the World Bank’s technical assistance and analytical and policy work for the purpose of pursuing the goals of Europe 2020, the EU’s growth strategy until 2020.

    The program manager is based in Brussels and since its establishment in 2012, it has received around €25 million in EU contributions from various European Commission directorates. The trust fund is managed under the EU-World Bank Group Framework Agreement, which is the instrument governing the cooperation between the two partners.


    Financed by the Europe 2020 Trust Fund, the World Bank, together with the OECD, has developed the Portraits of Labor Market Exclusion publication series to offer a new way to profile unemployed and inactive populations in seven EU Member States and derive targeted policy recommendations.

    Each “portrait” presents profiles of individuals who have no or limited labor-market attachment. The profiles are created from survey information and focus on people who define themselves as unemployed, retired, or inactive. The portraits attach stories to statistics.

    They examine detailed labor market, demographic, and social circumstances to identify distinct groups of individuals who are the potential beneficiaries of income- and employment-support policies. The analysis, which essentially combines labor market analysis and poverty profiling, offers a pragmatic way to look at individuals through the lenses of both poverty/welfare status and labor market indicators.


    Unlike regular Doing Business reports that are focused on the national level, subnational Doing Business reports capture differences in business regulations and their enforcement across locations in a single country. They provide data on the ease of doing business in each location, and rank the results.

    In partnership with the European Commission through the Europe 2020 Trust Fund, the World Bank is producing subnational Doing Business measurements in seven EU Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia.

    The aim is to advance regulatory reforms at the regional level to promote peer-to-peer learning and convergence toward best regulatory practices, and to foster private sector development.


Additional Resources


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