Chronicle of Essential Legal Bases of the ESF

December 2023

In accordance with Section 26b (6) sentence 1 StFG, the Federal Ministry of Finance is authorised to take out loans of up to € 43.2 bn for the Economic Stabilisation Fund in 2023 to finance measures in accordance with Section 26a (1) StFG. The funds raised with this debt authorisation may be used to finance measures and programmes until 31 December 2023. According to Section 26g (1) StFG, measures of the ESF pursuant to Section 26a (1) sentence 1 numbers 1 to 4 StFG are possible until the end of 31 December 2023. The fund will be dissolved at the end of 2023 in accordance with Section 26g (1) sentence 2 StFG with regard to the part established with the StFG in Section 2 Part 3 to mitigate the consequences of the energy crisis. The liabilities and assets of the ESF (energy part) will be transferred to the Federal government. The necessary legislative amendments associated with the partial dissolution are governed by the Budget Financing Act 2023.

January 2022

Article 17 of the Eighth Act Amending Excise Tax Laws of 24 October 2022 added a new paragraph 2 to section 23 StFG. As a result, in addition to loans to refinance the allocated coronavirus special programmes, the ESF can also grant KfW loans to refinance transactions allocated by the Federal government to secure the liquidity of companies in the energy industry, in particular to secure the energy supply or to maintain the infrastructure necessary for this. The debt authorisation for this purpose remains unchanged at € 100 bn (Section 24 (1) StFG).

In addition, a new debt authorisation pursuant to section 26b (1) of the Stabilisation Fund Act (StFG) was introduced by the Act Amending the Stabilisation Fund Act for the Reactivation and Reorientation of the Economic Stabilisation Fund of 28 October 2022. This amounts to € 200 bn and serves to refinance the expenditure measures of the ESF pursuant to section 26a (1) of the Stabilisation Fund Act as well as the granting of loans to the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau to refinance these programmes and support measures in the energy sector, insofar as these are allocated to the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau by the Federal government pursuant to Section 2 (4) of the KfW Law.

January 2022

The Stabilisation Fund Act and the Economic Stabilisation Acceleration Act come into effect. 
Stabilisation measures under the Economic Stabilisation Fund could initially only be granted until 31 December, 2021. The change of the act made it possible to grant stabilisation measures until 30 June, 2022, provided they had been applied for by 30 April, 2022.
The legislative amendment also limited the ESF's authorisation to grant guarantees for debt instruments and established liabilities issued by companies from 28 March, 2020 to 30 June, 2022 to up to € 100 bn (previously up to € 400 bn for debt instruments and established liabilities issued from 28 March, 2020 to 31 December, 2021).
In addition, the amendment reduced to € 50 bn (previously € 100 bn) the authorisation for the Federal Ministry of Finance to borrow on behalf of the WSF to cover calls on guarantees and expenses and recapitalisation measures.

July 2020

The European Commission authorises the federal government to set up the ESF with a budget of up to € 500 bn for guarantees and recapitalisations.

March 2020

Establishment of the ESF by amending the previous Financial Market Stabilisation Fund Act and renaming it the Stabilisation Fund Act.
Incorporation of the ESF into the previous Financial Market Stabilisation Acceleration Act by amending it and renaming it to Economic Stabilisation Acceleration Act.