EUROPEAN FINANCIAL STABILITY FACILITY
Temporary rescue mechanism based in Luxembourg, created on 10 June 2010 by the Euro area Member States following the decisions taken on 9 May 2010 within the framework of the Ecofin Council. The mandate is to safeguard financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to Euro area Member States within the framework of a macro-economic adjustment programme. To fulfill its mission, the EFSF issues bonds or other debt instruments on the capital markets. The proceeds of these issues are then lent to countries under a programme. The EFSF may also intervene in the primary and secondary bond markets, act on the basis of a precautionary programme and finance recapitalisations of financial institutions in non-programme countries through loans to governments. On 8 October 2012 the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the permanent rescue mechanism, entered into force and due to this reason the EFSF will not represent the main instrument to finance new programmes, but the fund will continue with the ongoing programmes for Greece, Portugual and Ireland. The financial assistance for the recapitalisation of the Spanish banking sector will be transferred from EFSF to ESM.