The reform and implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact
AbstractFiscal rules are instrumental for restraining deficit and spending biases in euro area Member States that could threaten the smooth functioning of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Ideally, fiscal rules should combine characteristics such as sufficient flexibility to allow for appropriate policy choices with the necessary simplicity and enforceability to actually discipline government behaviour. The Maastricht Treaty and the Stability and Growth Pact established such a rules-based framework for fiscal polices in EMU. However, the implementation of the Pact was less than fully satisfactory. One year ago, the Pact was reviewed and a reformed version adopted which emphasises more flexible rules and procedures, including more explicit room for judgement and discretion than in its original form. While its proponents argued that these revisions would strengthen commitment and implementation of the rules, others emphasised the risk of weakening the EU fiscal framework. A year on from the SGP reform, this paper takes stock of how the EU fiscal rules have evolved and how they have been implemented from the Maastricht Treaty to the present day, including initial experiences with the implementation of the reformed Pact. The first indications are of a smoother and consistent implementation, but with consolidation requirements that are rather lenient while fiscal targets and projections point to only slow and back-loaded progress towards sound public finances in many countries. The assessment of the implementation of the revised rules is therefore mixed. It is of the essence that the provisions of the revised SGP be rigorously implemented in order to ensure fiscal sustainability. JEL Classification: E61, E62, H6.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European Central Bank in its series Occasional Paper Series with number 47.
Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Postfach 16 03 19, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/home/html/index.en.html
More information through EDIRC
Postal: Press and Information Division, European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-07-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2006-07-09 (European Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2006-07-09 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2006-07-09 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Martin Feldstein, 2005.
"The Euro and the Stability Pact,"
NBER Working Papers
11249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Riccardo Faini, 2006. "Fiscal policy and interest rates in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 443-489, 07.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
- Sebastian Hauptmeier & Martin Heipertz & Ludger Schuknecht, 2007.
"Expenditure Reform in Industrialised Countries: A Case-Study Approach,"
Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(3), pages 293-342, 09.
- Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Heipertz, Martin & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2006. "Expenditure reform in industrialised countries: a case study approach," Working Paper Series 0634, European Central Bank.
- Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Heipertz, Martin & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2006. "Expenditure reform in industralised countries: a case study approach," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-50, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926.
- Wyplosz, Charles, 2002. "Fiscal Policy: Institutions versus Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 3238, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Marín, José M., 2002. "Sustainability of public finances and automatic stabilisation under a rule of budgetary discipline," Working Paper Series 0193, European Central Bank.
- Vincent Koen & Paul van den Noord, 2005. "Fiscal Gimmickry in Europe: One-Off Measures and Creative Accounting," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 417, OECD Publishing.
- repec:fth:eeccco:148 is not listed on IDEAS
- JÃ¼rgen von Hagen & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Rolf Strauch, 2001. "Budgetary Consolidation in EMU," European Economy - Economic Papers 148, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
- George Kopits & Steven A. Symansky, 1998. "Fiscal Policy Rules," IMF Occasional Papers 162, International Monetary Fund.
- Ludger Schuknecht, 2005. "Stability and Growth Pact: issues and lessons from political economy," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 65-89, 06.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Andrew Hughes Hallett & Moritz Kuhn & Thomas Warmedinger, 2012.
"The gains from early intervention in Europe: Fiscal surveillance and fiscal planning using cash data,"
European Journal of Government and Economics,
Europa Grande, vol. 1(1), pages 44-65, June.
- Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Kuhn, Moritz & Warmedinger, Thomas, 2010. "The gains from early intervention in Europe: Fiscal surveillance and fiscal planning using cash data," Working Paper Series 1220, European Central Bank.
- António Afonso & Christophe Rault, 2008.
"What do we really Know about Fiscal Sustainability in the EU? A Panel Data Diagnostic,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2226, CESifo Group Munich.
- António Afonso & Christophe Rault, 2010. "What do we really know about fiscal sustainability in the EU? A panel data diagnostic," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 145(4), pages 731-755, January.
- Christophe Rault & Antonio Alfonso, 2007. "What do we really know about fiscal sustainability in the EU? A panel data diagnostic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp893, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Afonso, António & Rault, Christophe, 2007. "What do we really know about fiscal sustainability in the EU? A panel data diagnostic," Working Paper Series 0820, European Central Bank.
- António Afonso & Christophe Rault, 2007. "What do we really know about fiscal sustainability in the EU? A panel data diagnostic," Working Papers hal-00322091, HAL.
- António Afonso & Christophe Rault, 2007. "What We Really Know about Fiscal Sustainability in the EU? A Panel Data Diagnostic," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/20, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
- Coenen, Günter & Mohr, Matthias & Straub, Roland, 2008.
"Fiscal consolidation in the euro area: Long-run benefits and short-run costs,"
Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 912-932, September.
- Coenen, Günter & Mohr, Matthias & Straub, Roland, 2008. "Fiscal consolidation in the euro area: long-run benefits and short-run costs," Working Paper Series 0902, European Central Bank.
- Manfred Weber & Karl Knappe, 2007. "Fiscal policy in EMU after the reform of the european stability and growth pact," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 8(4), pages 45-51, 01.
- Erik J. LundbÃ¤ck, 2008. "Medium-Term Budgetary Frameworks - Lessons for Austria from International Experience," IMF Working Papers 08/163, International Monetary Fund.
- Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Rother, Philipp, 2010. "The impact of numerical expenditure rules on budgetary discipline over the cycle," Working Paper Series 1169, European Central Bank.
- Alfredo M. Pereira & Maria de F�tima Pinho, 2006.
"Public Investment and Budgetary Consolidation in Portugal,"
41, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
- Alfredo Pereira & Maria Pinho, 2008. "Public investment and budgetary consolidation in Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 183-203, December.
- Xavier Debrun & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2007. "The Discipline-Enhancing Role of Fiscal Institutions: Theory and Empirical Evidence," IMF Working Papers 07/171, International Monetary Fund.
- Nadine Leiner-Killinger & Víctor López Pérez & Roger Stiegert & Giovanni Vitale, 2007. "Structural reforms in EMU and the role of monetary policy – a survey of the literature," Occasional Paper Series 66, European Central Bank.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.