Depending on how it is structured, the introduction of a European unemployment insurance within the euro area could make a significant contribution to stabilizing economic developments. This even applies to a relatively small-scale system (based on the volume of transfers) with a maximum eligibility period of six months and transfers of 30 percent of last net salary. Higher payments would amplify the stabilizing effect but, conversely, also increase the potentially undesirable impact on incentives to work and degree of redistribution among member states. The distributive effects on households would be marginal; effects on income distribution in the Monetary Union would generally be slightly progressive to neutral. Low-income households therefore stand to gain relatively more from the introduction of a European unemployment insurance.