The Commission’s unified funding approach foresees the use of a variety of funding instruments to place EU issuances on capital markets. In addition to long-term EU-Bonds and short term EU-Bills, the Commission also issues NextGenerationEU Green Bonds, to finance the green component of the Recovery and Resilience Facility at the heart of NextGenerationEU.
To finance its SURE instrument to protect jobs and incomes in the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the Commission was issuing SURE social bonds.
EU-Bonds are the Commission’s main funding instrument under its unified funding approach.
The Commission issues EU-Bonds with benchmark maturities (3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years) to implement its funding plan.
The Commission issues EU-Bonds mainly through syndicated transactions and auctions. In addition to issuing new lines, the Commission can ‘tap’ already issued EU-Bonds, thus boosting their total outstanding volume. This makes these bonds more liquid in secondary market trading and hence more attractive to investors.
An overview of the transactions executed by the European Commission is here.
NextGenerationEU Green Bonds
The Commission is seeking to raise up to 30% (or €250 billion) of NextGenerationEU funds through the issuance of NextGenerationEU green bonds and use the proceeds to finance green policies. With the NextGenerationEU green bond programme of up to €250 billion, the EU will become the largest green bond issuer worldwide.
The Commission executed its first NextGenerationEU green bond in October 2021.
An overview of the NextGenerationEU green bonds issued to date is available here.
NextGenerationEU green bonds are governed by the NextGenerationEU Green Bond framework, which ensures alignment of issuances with the green bond principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and coherent with the Commission’s overall commitment to sustainability. On the basis of the framework, NGEU green bonds have also been added to the MSCI Global Green Bond Index.
SURE social bonds
The Commission is the world’s biggest social bond issuer having issued €98.4 billion of social bonds between October 2020 and December 2022 to finance the EU’s now-closed SURE programme. SURE bonds are issued under the Social Bond Framework, which is compliant with the Social Bond Principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA).
The Commission started issuing EU-Bills, securities with a shorter maturity of below one year, in September 2021. The EU-Bills programme gives extra flexibility to the Commission as an issuer, and is supporting the liquidity of its securities.
The EU-Bills programme is helping the Commission to establish a regular and stable presence in the very deep and liquid money market. It also makes it possible for the Commission to widen its investor base by attracting new investors and different portfolios of existing investors.
In line with standard market practice, the Commission issues EU-Bills only via auctions.
Information about the auctions executed by the Commission is available online here.