Hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, the European economy is faced with an unprecedented economic and financial crisis. The response by the European Central Bank has been significant, and other European institutions are pitching in as well. But the European Stability Mechanism – the very institution set up for Europe to be ready for the next crisis – remains conspicuously absent. Against this backdrop, the Lisbon Council launches European Stability Mechanism: Missing in Action? Why and How the ESM Needs to Be Mobilised: A Three-Step Programme, a new policy brief by Chief Economist Alessandro Leipold. The policy brief proposes a three-point programme for deploying Europe’s crisis fighting arm in the response to the economic fallout of COVID-19. Economic Intelligence 11/2020 is the latest briefing of the Economic Intelligence series published by the Lisbon Council and devoted to highlighting issues surrounding — and arising from — key meetings of the European Council and eurozone finance ministers.