ERP Overview

ERP: European Recovery Program

ERP: European Recovery Program

According to, ERP is an abbreviation for European Recovery Program [j ʊ ərə pi ː ən r ɪ k ʌ vər ɪ prə ʊ grəm; English »European Reconstruction Program «], Marshall Plan [- ʃ -], the program of economic support for European countries launched by the USA after the Second World War. The ERP goes back to a speech given by the then American Secretary of State G. C. Marshall of June 5, 1947 and was passed as the Foreign Aid Act on April 3, 1948 (signed on April 16, 1948). Following the rejection of cooperation by the Eastern Bloc countries, the ERP was limited to the countries of Western Europe, which received food, fertilizers, raw materials, fuels, machines and medicines worth a total of around $ 13 billion until mid-1952. Goods to the value of around $ 1.6 billion went to the Federal Republic of Germany including Berlin (West); were added under the GARIOA program (abbreviation for G over ment a nd R elief i n O ccupied A reas, the US Department of Defense program for the occupied territories) essential goods valued at around $ 1.7 billion. Of the total American post-war economic aid it received, amounting to almost $ 3.3 billion, the Federal Republic of Germany repaid $ 1.1 billion in accordance with the treaty by 1978. American economic aid has been in Europe since 1948 through the Organization for European Economic Cooperation coordinated. While the American exporters received the equivalent of their goods from the US government in dollars, the European importers had to pay the equivalent of the deliveries in local currency into special funds (counterpart funds), the funds of which in turn were used to intensify multilateral intra-European trade and to rebuild became.

The ERP special fund was created by combining the DM equivalents within the framework of the agreement on economic cooperation between the USA and the Federal Republic of Germany (December 15, 1949) . As a special federal fund, it is administered separately from the other federal assets and thus also from the federal budget, originally by the Federal Ministry for Affairs of the Marshall Plan and since 1969 by the Federal Ministry of Economics. Its funds are used to grant long-term low-interest loans to the German economy, in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises. The legal basis is the ERP Administrative Act of August 31, 1953 (current version of June 26, 2007) in conjunction with the annual ERP business plan law. The bank processing of the ERP loans is carried out by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). The funds originally came primarily from interest and redemption returns from previously granted loans (principle of the revolving use of funds).

Until 1990, special emphasis was placed on Berlin funding. After the German reunification and the increased allocation of ERP loans in the new federal states, the lending business of the ERP special fund was greatly expanded. Since 1991, refinancing has been largely carried out through borrowing on the capital market, initially through promissory note loans, and since 1992 also through the issuance of bonds (ERP bonds).

The special fund has grown from an original € 3.0 billion to around € 16 billion (mid-2013) – around € 14 billion of this is tied up as capital components in KfW. In 2012, low-interest promotional loans were granted to start-ups, company successors, small and medium-sized enterprises and members of the liberal professions in the amount of around € 4 billion.

In Austria, the counterpart funds were transferred to the Austrian ruling in 1961. The ERP fund is a federal fund with its own legal personality.

ERP: European Recovery Program

European Free Trade Association

European Free Trade Association, abbreviation EFTA (English E uropean F ree T rade A ssociation), was established in 1960 in Stockholm confederation to protect the commercial interests of the Western European countries, the (originally EEC) were not involved in the European Community. Members are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Since 1994, EFTA (with the exception of Switzerland) and the EU have been one European Economic Area.

European Communities

European Communities, abbreviation EG, collective term for the European Community (until 1993: European Economic Community) and the European Atomic Energy Community, whose bodies have been amalgamated since 1967; since 1993 part of the European Union (the originally associated European Coal and Steel Community ceased operations in 2002). Of the original three institutions of the European Communities, only the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) remained as an independent organization alongside the European Union (EU).

Important organs of the EC (and today’s EU) were or are European Parliament, the European Court of Justice as well as the executive branch European Commission (until 1993 Commission of the European Communities).