The reform and implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact
Fiscal 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.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/Email:
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- 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.
- Sebastian Hauptmeier & Martin Heipertz & Ludger Schuknecht, 2007. "Expenditure Reform in Industrialised Countries: A Case-Study Approach," Fiscal Studies, 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.
- Wyplosz, Charles, 2002. "Fiscal Policy: Institutions versus Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 3238, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Martin Feldstein, 2005.
"The Euro and the Stability Pact,"
NBER Working Papers
11249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marín, José M., 2002. "Sustainability of public finances and automatic stabilisation under a rule of budgetary discipline," Working Paper Series 0193, European Central Bank.
- Riccardo Faini, 2006. "Fiscal policy and interest rates in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 443-489, 07.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- George Kopits & Steven A. Symansky, 1998. "Fiscal Policy Rules," IMF Occasional Papers 162, International Monetary Fund.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, June.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:20060047. 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: (Official Publications)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.