EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life


The term Troika, derived from from the Russian term for a carriage with three horses, can be used to describe any type of collaboration involving three groups. It was increasingly used during the eurozone financial crisis to describe the three-strong group of organisations – the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank – which established the conditions on which financial assistance, or promises of assistance, would be given to indebted European states.

Where the three organisations offered assistance, the required measures and reforms were set out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the group and the country concerned. The Troika has therefore had a strong influence on the national economic and financial policies of the countries with which it has a MoU.

The Troika’s first MoU was agreed in 2010 with Greece, and a further three countries followed suit: Ireland in December 2010 (although it left the programme in December 2013); Portugal in May 2011; and Cyprus in April 2013. Spain also has an MoU with the Troika, but this only addresses reforms in Spain’s banking sector. Assistance has also been provided to Hungary, Latvia and Romania.

The European Commission provides detailed information on its financial assistance programmes to each of the countries involved.

See also: Annual Growth Survey; Broad Economic Policy Guidelines; collective industrial relations; country-specific recommendations; Economic and Monetary Union; European Globalisation adjustment Fund; European economic governance; Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure; National Action Plans; National Reform Programmes; Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance.

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