With the approval of the Bundesrat (Federal council), the German parliament passed the law on the establishment of an economic stabilisation fund (Economic Stabilisation Fund Act - WStFG) on March 27, 2020. This laid the foundation for implementing necessary measures to stabilise companies in the real economy and to avert negative effects on the labour market. The granting of stabilisation measures was initially limited until the end of 2021 and was later extended until June 30, 2022.
In order to anchor both economic stabilisation and financial market stabilisation in one law, the previous "Financial Market Stabilisation Fund Act (FMStFG)" was renamed "Act on the Establishment of a Financial Market Stabilisation Fund and an Economic Stabilisation Fund (Stabilisation Fund Act -StFG)" in accordance with Article 1 of the WStFG. The previous statutory provisions of the FMStFG were combined in the StFG into a Section 1 - Financial Market Stabilisation and supplemented by the newly included provisions on the ESF in a Section 2 - Economic Stabilisation.
The ESF is administered by the Federal Republic of Germany - Finance Agency. It manages the participations acquired within the framework of the stabilisation measures on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Finance in accordance with section 20 of the StFG. The instruments taken over within the framework of the recapitalisation measures pursuant to section 22 StFG are also managed and held in custody by it.
German and European Legal Framework
- Stabilisation Fund Act (StFG) forms the legal basis for the granting measures of the ESF.
- Specification of legal regulations:
- Ordinance Implementing the Economic Stabilisation Fund (WSF-DV; only available in German language) regulates the design as well as the subsequent termination of the stabilisation measures
- Ordinance Assigning Functions Relating to the Economic Stabilisation Fund (WSF-ÜV; only available in German language) regulates the responsibilities
- Economic Stabilisation Fund Cost Ordinance (WSF-KostV; only available in German language) regulates the reimbursement of costs to the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and Finance Agency by the beneficiaries of the measures
- EU Temporary Framework for State Aid Measure incl. the supplements sets the framework for aid to support the economy
- EU-notification of the ESF allowed stabilisation of companies by the ESF without individual notification by the EU Commission under certain conditions, which are listed in particular in the implementing regulation
The fund originally had a total volume of € 600 bn. As part of the extension of the ESF, the total volume was adjusted to € 250 bn as of January 1, 2022.
|Components of ESF|
|Recapitalisation volume |
€ 50 bn
(originally € 100 bn)
|Refinancing of KFW's special programmes € 100 bn|
|Assistance with refinancing on the banking and capital markets (bridging liquidity shortages)|
Capital strenghtening via:
Refinancing of the KfW special programmes allocated by the Federal government for the economy and climate protection
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
Further information on Economic Stabilisation Fund is available from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Applications for guarantees and recapitalisations could be submitted to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action until the end of April 2022. The granting of stabilisation measures was possible until the end of June 2022.