Benefits and drawbacks of an “expenditure rule”, as well as of a "golden rule", in the EU fiscal framework

Study 01-09-2020

Focusing the EU fiscal framework on an expenditure rule could help to increase transparency, compliance and ownership. In various other respects, like estimation errors or counter-cyclicality of prescribed fiscal policy, an expenditure rule is similar to a structural balance rule. If the EU decides to go beyond the current focus on fiscal aggregates, a two-rule system aimed at safeguarding specific expenditures could be placed at the centre of the EU fiscal framework. The key challenge is to define and measure the protected expenditures.