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Public finances in Euro Area Member States: Selected indicators - June 2021

17-06-2021

This document presents selected indicators on public finance for the Euro Area Member States and the Euro Area as a whole. For each indicator, it provides a short explanation and the data sources. The final section presents a short overview of the main indicators used by the European and other international institutions to assess debt sustainability.

This document presents selected indicators on public finance for the Euro Area Member States and the Euro Area as a whole. For each indicator, it provides a short explanation and the data sources. The final section presents a short overview of the main indicators used by the European and other international institutions to assess debt sustainability.

Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact under pandemic times

22-03-2021

This document provides an overview of key developments under the preventive and corrective arms of the Stability and Growth Pact on the basis of the latest Council decisions and recommendations in the framework of the Stability and Growth Pact and the latest European Commission economic forecast. This document is regularly updated.

This document provides an overview of key developments under the preventive and corrective arms of the Stability and Growth Pact on the basis of the latest Council decisions and recommendations in the framework of the Stability and Growth Pact and the latest European Commission economic forecast. This document is regularly updated.

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure: An introduction

28-10-2020

What is the macroeconomic imbalance procedure? What are the elements of its scoreboard? Once those elements are taken into account, how does the procedure evolve in the wider context of the European Semester? This paper attempts to put these elements in context and provides an introduction to the subject, as well as a flavour of the debate driven by academia and European institutions, in view of the general discussion on European economic governance, taking place in 2020 and 2021.

What is the macroeconomic imbalance procedure? What are the elements of its scoreboard? Once those elements are taken into account, how does the procedure evolve in the wider context of the European Semester? This paper attempts to put these elements in context and provides an introduction to the subject, as well as a flavour of the debate driven by academia and European institutions, in view of the general discussion on European economic governance, taking place in 2020 and 2021.

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

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 ...

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.

Autor externo

Wolf Heinrich REUTER

Australia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

24-02-2020

Australia was the world's 13th largest economy in 2018, with growth in gross domestic product (GDP) at 2.9 %. It has a strong and dynamic relationship with the EU. Negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and the EU were formally launched in June 2018. In 2018, Australia was the EU's 19th largest trading partner, with a 1.2% share of the EU's total trade. Further information on EU-Australia trade relations, such as the composition of trade between the two partners, can be found in ...

Australia was the world's 13th largest economy in 2018, with growth in gross domestic product (GDP) at 2.9 %. It has a strong and dynamic relationship with the EU. Negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and the EU were formally launched in June 2018. In 2018, Australia was the EU's 19th largest trading partner, with a 1.2% share of the EU's total trade. Further information on EU-Australia trade relations, such as the composition of trade between the two partners, can be found in this infographic, which also provides an economic snapshot of Australia.

How flexible is the EU budget? Flexibility instruments and mechanisms in the multiannual financial framework (MFF)

23-01-2020

The 1988 introduction of multiannual financial frameworks (MFF) in the European Union (EU) budgetary system has improved financial predictability and facilitated the development of multiannual spending programmes, but has had to be balanced by measures that provided some flexibility and ability to react to unexpected situations. Over the years, these flexibility instruments and mechanisms have developed and proved to be useful. Occasions to use them were frequent, as the crises and challenges faced ...

The 1988 introduction of multiannual financial frameworks (MFF) in the European Union (EU) budgetary system has improved financial predictability and facilitated the development of multiannual spending programmes, but has had to be balanced by measures that provided some flexibility and ability to react to unexpected situations. Over the years, these flexibility instruments and mechanisms have developed and proved to be useful. Occasions to use them were frequent, as the crises and challenges faced by the EU required actions that could not be financed under the tight expenditure ceilings of the agreed MFFs. Experience of implementation of the 2014-2020 MFF demonstrated that, with neither relevant flexibility mechanisms nor the possibility to revise the MFF in the mid-term, achieving policy goals and reacting adequately to unexpected events and crises, especially in the area of migration and security, would be impossible. The flexibility of the EU budgets has already featured as an important issue in the negotiations of the 2021 2027 MFF. The views of the main actors – the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council – on enhancing and designing such flexibility instruments diverge. It has yet to be seen if the issue, following the pattern of the 2014-2020 MFF negotiations, will play a key role in reaching an agreement.

Economic Dialogue with the President of the Eurogroup - ECON 18 November 2019

14-11-2019

Mário Centeno, has been invited to his first Economic Dialogue for the current legislative term of the European Parliament. The previous dialogue in the ECON Committee took place on 20 November 2018. During the 8th legislative term, 9 Economic Dialogues with the President of the Eurogroup took place in the ECON Committee. This briefing provides an overview of the ongoing work of the Eurogroup as regards Council recommendations to the Euro Area as a whole, public finances, macro-economic imbalances ...

Mário Centeno, has been invited to his first Economic Dialogue for the current legislative term of the European Parliament. The previous dialogue in the ECON Committee took place on 20 November 2018. During the 8th legislative term, 9 Economic Dialogues with the President of the Eurogroup took place in the ECON Committee. This briefing provides an overview of the ongoing work of the Eurogroup as regards Council recommendations to the Euro Area as a whole, public finances, macro-economic imbalances, ex-post surveillance and the banking union.

Establishing a European Investment Stabilisation Function

17-01-2019

The European Commission has proposed to establish a European Investment Stabilisation Function. The accompanying IA focusses on the expected positive effects of the proposal, rather than providing a balanced assessment of different policy options and all their relevant impacts. The mostly qualitative analysis is complemented by some quantifications that are, to the Commission’s own admission, based on uncertain assumptions. The caveats, methods and models of the IA could have been better explained ...

The European Commission has proposed to establish a European Investment Stabilisation Function. The accompanying IA focusses on the expected positive effects of the proposal, rather than providing a balanced assessment of different policy options and all their relevant impacts. The mostly qualitative analysis is complemented by some quantifications that are, to the Commission’s own admission, based on uncertain assumptions. The caveats, methods and models of the IA could have been better explained to increase its transparency. The selection of the preferred option seems to be based on political considerations.

European Investment Stabilisation Function (EISF)

10-01-2019

The idea behind the Commission's proposed European Investment Stabilisation Function is to use dedicated financial means from the EU budget to help Member States stabilise their economies in the event of a major asymmetric shock. The Commission would borrow on the financial markets and then lend to the country concerned, which would use the money to finance public investment. Once the crisis was over, the Member State would reimburse the debt. The Commission hopes the other Member States would agree ...

The idea behind the Commission's proposed European Investment Stabilisation Function is to use dedicated financial means from the EU budget to help Member States stabilise their economies in the event of a major asymmetric shock. The Commission would borrow on the financial markets and then lend to the country concerned, which would use the money to finance public investment. Once the crisis was over, the Member State would reimburse the debt. The Commission hopes the other Member States would agree to subsidise the interest payments incurred. The function would be limited to euro-area countries, but those that have entered the exchange rate mechanism II (ERM II) might also benefit. The lending would be quasi automatic once statistical data showed an exceptional and steep rise in unemployment. The dossier has met with considerable opposition at Council level.

Argentina: Economic indicators and trade with EU

07-12-2018

In 2017, Argentina’s economy continued its gradual recovery from major macroeconomic imbalances with a GDP per capita growth rate of 2.9% thanks to austerity measures and a comprehensive reform agenda. However, inflation at 25.7% and unemployment at 8.5% remained high. Whereas economic fundamentals were slowly improving and the country’s political context remained stable after president Mauricio Macri made political gains at the mid-term legislative elections in October 2017, a crisis of confidence ...

In 2017, Argentina’s economy continued its gradual recovery from major macroeconomic imbalances with a GDP per capita growth rate of 2.9% thanks to austerity measures and a comprehensive reform agenda. However, inflation at 25.7% and unemployment at 8.5% remained high. Whereas economic fundamentals were slowly improving and the country’s political context remained stable after president Mauricio Macri made political gains at the mid-term legislative elections in October 2017, a crisis of confidence hit the economy in spring 2018. The crisis exposed vulnerabilities resulting from Argentina’s fiscal and current account deficit and large foreign-denominated debt. As the peso continued its downward trend in autumn 2018, although Argentina secured an IMF US$50 billion credit line and committed to new austerity measures, the economic context is likely to harden ahead of the 2019 presidential elections. With a share of 16.2% of Argentina’s overall trade, the EU is the country’s second largest trading partner after Brazil that accounts for 21.9%. In 2017, EU exports to Argentina increased to almost €10 billion, while EU imports slightly decreased to more than €8 billion. Total imports of primary products from Argentina declined and those of manufactures, notably chemicals, grew. EU exports of both primary products and manufactures, particularly machinery and appliances as well as transport equipment, increased.

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