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The Stability and Growth Pact: Lessons from the Great Recession

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  • Martin Larch
  • Paul van den Noord
  • Lars Jonung

Abstract

While current instruments of EU economic policy coordination helped stave off a full-scale depression, the post-2007 global financial and economic crisis has revealed a number of weaknesses in the Stability and Growth Pact, the EU framework for fiscal surveillance and fiscal policy coordination. This paper provides a diagnosis of how the SGP faired ahead and during the present crisis and offers a first comprehensive review of the ongoing academic and policy debate, including an account of the reform proposals adopted by the Commission on 29 September 2010. In our view, the current system of EU rules is unbalanced. It consists of (i) very specific provisions on how to conduct fiscal policy making in normal times with no effective enforcement mechanisms, and of (ii) no or extremely tight provisions for really bad economic times, like the Great Recession. A two-pronged approach as outlined in this report is needed to revive the Pact: tighter enforcement, coupled with broader macroeconomic surveillance, in good times and an open window for exceptionally bad times, including a crisis resolution mechanism at the EU level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 429.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0429

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Cited by:
  1. Ebert, Werner & Eckardt, Martina, 2011. "Wirtschafts- und finanzpolitische Koordinierung in der EU – Erfahrungen aus einem Jahrzehnt Politikkoordinierung
    [Public policy coordination in the EU - experiences from one decade of policy coor
    ," MPRA Paper 29281, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ferré Carracedo, Montserrat, 2011. "The effects of uncertainty about countries' compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact," Working Papers 2072/169686, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  3. Merola, Rossana & Pérez, Javier J., 2013. "Fiscal forecast errors: Governments versus independent agencies?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 285-299.

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