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The Sustainability of Public Finanaces and Fiscal Policy Coordination in the EMU

  • Juergen von Hagen

The financial crisis of 2007-2009 led to a renewed increase in government deficits and debts in many EU countries, causing a full-fledged fiscal crisis in Greece and severe fiscal pressures in other euro-area countries. This has prompted a series of proposals for improving the fiscal framework of the European Monetary Union, the Excessive Deficit Procedure and the Stability and Growth Pact. The first part of this paper reviews the main properties and developments of that framework until 2007. On that basis, it discusses the recent proposals for reform, which range from marginal improvements of the existing framework to the introduction of an explicit framework for managing fiscal crises in the member states, and the expansion of the scope of policy coordination to address macro economic imbalances and the competitiveness of the member states. We find the proposal of a mechanism for dealing with government default most useful. Attempts to suppress current account imbalances and to target national competitiveness positions would most likely result in serious economic losses and do damage to the internal market of the EU. This would increase the wedge between members and non-members of the euro area.

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Paper provided by CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research in its series CASE Network Studies and Analyses with number 412.

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Length: 55 Pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0412
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  1. Roel M. W. J. Beetsma & Xavier Debrun, 2004. "Reconciling Stability and Growth: Smart Pacts and Structural Reforms," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(3), pages 431-456, November.
  2. Jürgen von Hagen & Iulia Traistaru-Siedschlag, 2006. "Macroeconomic Adjustment in the New EU Member States," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 2006/4 edited by Morten Balling, November.
  3. von Hagen, Jürgen & Wolff, Guntram B., 2004. "What Do Deficits Tell us About Debts? Empirical Evidence on Creative Accounting with Fiscal Rules in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 4759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Stephan, Andreas & Brück, Tilman, 2005. "Do Eurozone Countries Cheat with their Budget Deficit Forecasts?," Working Paper Series 2005,5, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), The Postgraduate Research Programme Capital Markets and Finance in the Enlarged Europe.
  5. Beetsma, Roel & Debrun, Xavier, 2005. "Implementing the stability and growth pact: enforcement and procedural flexibility," Working Paper Series 0433, European Central Bank.
  6. Perotti, Roberto & Strauch, Rolf & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1997. "Sustainability of Public Finances," CEPR Discussion Papers 1781, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jürgen 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.
  8. Marco Buti & Paul van den Noord, 2004. "Fiscal policy in EMU: Rules, discretion and political incentives," European Economy - Economic Papers 206, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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