L’euro, il patto di stabilità e di crescita e la sua riforma
[The euro, the stability and growth pact and its reform]
This contribution concerns the European monetary union and single currency, the eur. It addresses the issue of the Stability and Growth Pact and its recent reform by the European Council in March 2005. The debate on the reform of the Pact has focused on the contrast between rules and discretion, and, in particular, the role of fiscal policy, but also on its effect in respect of the ECB's monetary policy. The debate revealed a substantial lack of consensus on fiscal policy. Differences on the conduct of fiscal policy focused on the objectives, instruments and institutions. However, the reform of the Stability and Growth Pact tends to give precedence to an attitude of greater discretion in the conduct of fiscal policy by Member States. This paper highlights the significant critical point, in the new version of the Pact, to tolerate implicitly possible fiscal deficits that can be systematically higher in the euro area countrie. It also underlines the unresolved conflict between two important institutions: the Commission and the Council, and the need for independent institutions that are able to enforce tax rules.
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