IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Fiscal Discipline and Flexibility in EMU: The Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact


  • Buti, Marco
  • Franco, Daniele
  • Ongena, Hedwig


Fiscal discipline to safeguard the credibility of the single monetary authority and fiscal flexibility to respond to country-specific shocks are two core principles governing budgetary policy in EMU. The Stability and Growth Pact aims at ensuring the first objective. To comply with the requirements of the pact, EU members need to achieve a 'close to balance or surplus' position and change their budgetary behaviour in periods of cyclical upturns by refraining from spending the growth dividend.' Past experience shows that fiscal laxity does not buy more effective stabilization. Once EMU countries have achieved their medium-term target, their automatic stabilizers will be able to operate fully, thus helping in smoothing out cyclical fluctuations. The main potential problems in the implementation of the pact may arise in the early years of EMU, during the transition to a balanced budget, in the event of a slow-down in economic activity. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Buti, Marco & Franco, Daniele & Ongena, Hedwig, 1998. "Fiscal Discipline and Flexibility in EMU: The Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 81-97, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:14:y:1998:i:3:p:81-97

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:14:y:1998:i:3:p:81-97. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.