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Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact - March 2020

03-03-2020

This document provides an overview of key developments under the preventive and corrective arms of the Stability and Growth Pact on the basis of (1) the latest Council decisions and recommendations in the framework of the Stability and Growth Pact; (2) the latest European Commission economic forecasts; and (3) the latest European Commission opinions on the Draft Budgetary Plans of euro area Member States. 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 (1) the latest Council decisions and recommendations in the framework of the Stability and Growth Pact; (2) the latest European Commission economic forecasts; and (3) the latest European Commission opinions on the Draft Budgetary Plans of euro area Member States. This document is regularly updated.

Structural Budget Balances in EU Member States - November 2019

14-11-2019

Structural budget balances play an important role in the fiscal policy frameworks of the EU both as part of the application of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and in the implementation of the balanced budget rule by the contracting parties of the intergovernmental Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the EMU (the fiscal section of the Treaty is called “Fiscal Compact”). This document provides a short overview of the concept and application of the structural balance rule(s) in ...

Structural budget balances play an important role in the fiscal policy frameworks of the EU both as part of the application of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and in the implementation of the balanced budget rule by the contracting parties of the intergovernmental Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the EMU (the fiscal section of the Treaty is called “Fiscal Compact”). This document provides a short overview of the concept and application of the structural balance rule(s) in the EU. It will be regularly updated, in particular, the Annex that shows progress made (based on the latest Commission forecast) by Member States in reaching their structural budget commitments under the preventive arm of the SGP.

The advisory European Fiscal Board

13-11-2019

This note provides an overview of the main features and recent developments regarding the advisory European Fiscal Board. This body was established by the European Commission in October 2015, in the context of the implementation of an “integrated framework for sound fiscal policies”, proposed in the Five Presidents' Report of June 2015. The Annex presents excerpts from the latest Annual Reports published by the board.

This note provides an overview of the main features and recent developments regarding the advisory European Fiscal Board. This body was established by the European Commission in October 2015, in the context of the implementation of an “integrated framework for sound fiscal policies”, proposed in the Five Presidents' Report of June 2015. The Annex presents excerpts from the latest Annual Reports published by the board.

Yes, We Are Probably All Japanese Now

16-09-2019

This paper argues that the euro area has in recent years shared the same unfortunate concurrent systemic economic/financial crisis and demographic turnaround to an outright declining working age population that Japan suffered in the early 1990s. This combination will continue to depress euro area inflation dynamics for the foreseeable future, making it imperative that new fiscal policy initiatives, including public climate related investments, complement the ECB’s ongoing monetary policy stimulus ...

This paper argues that the euro area has in recent years shared the same unfortunate concurrent systemic economic/financial crisis and demographic turnaround to an outright declining working age population that Japan suffered in the early 1990s. This combination will continue to depress euro area inflation dynamics for the foreseeable future, making it imperative that new fiscal policy initiatives, including public climate related investments, complement the ECB’s ongoing monetary policy stimulus.

Externý autor

Jacob Funk Kirkegaard

The ECB’s Unfinished Business: Challenges ahead for EMU Monetary and Fiscal Policy Architecture

16-09-2019

Under Mario Draghi’s Presidency, the range of measures and tools of the ECB expanded significantly, both by enhancing transparency and in the direction of stretching the ECB’s competences beyond the limits to the existing monetary framework. Notwithstanding these achievements, significant challenges remain. In this note, we assess the potential limits to the amount of ECB’s easing available for the future, including credit and political considerations. We argue that monetary policy stimulus alone ...

Under Mario Draghi’s Presidency, the range of measures and tools of the ECB expanded significantly, both by enhancing transparency and in the direction of stretching the ECB’s competences beyond the limits to the existing monetary framework. Notwithstanding these achievements, significant challenges remain. In this note, we assess the potential limits to the amount of ECB’s easing available for the future, including credit and political considerations. We argue that monetary policy stimulus alone may not resolve the situation of having the euro area stuck in a slowing growth environment, and ask whether the next President may want to pass the ball more strongly to national governments.

Externý autor

Corrado MACCHIARELLI, Eddie GERBA and Sebastian DIESSNER

An overview of the Stability and Growth Pact - September 2019

10-09-2019

The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) is the legal framework (based on primary and secondary EU law) that seeks to ensure sustainable public finances in the interest of the stability of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It consists of two main building blocks: the preventive arm and the corrective arm. Stylised overviews, including on flexibility provisions (endorsed by the Council) within the existing rules of the SGP, are provided in the annexes. The main sources used in this briefing are primary ...

The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) is the legal framework (based on primary and secondary EU law) that seeks to ensure sustainable public finances in the interest of the stability of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It consists of two main building blocks: the preventive arm and the corrective arm. Stylised overviews, including on flexibility provisions (endorsed by the Council) within the existing rules of the SGP, are provided in the annexes. The main sources used in this briefing are primary Union law (Articles 121 and 126 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), secondary Union law (the amended Regulations (EC) 1466/97 and 1467/97 as well as the Regulation (EU) No 1173/2011), the Code of Conduction on the implementation of the SGP and the Commission Communication entitled ‘Making the best use of flexibility within the existing rules of the SGP’.

Multinational enterprises, value creation and taxation: Key issues and policy developments

03-07-2019

The substantial reduction in trade costs and the rapid technological advances characterising the global economy over the past three decades have allowed multinational enterprises (MNEs) to increasingly break up their supply chains and spread them across different countries. The principal implication of this change relates to the concept of value added and the way it is created and captured across MNE-controlled global value chains (GVCs). The dynamic nature of transfers within MNEs, the increasing ...

The substantial reduction in trade costs and the rapid technological advances characterising the global economy over the past three decades have allowed multinational enterprises (MNEs) to increasingly break up their supply chains and spread them across different countries. The principal implication of this change relates to the concept of value added and the way it is created and captured across MNE-controlled global value chains (GVCs). The dynamic nature of transfers within MNEs, the increasing role of services and intangible assets in manufacturing, and most critically the unfolding digital revolution have all intensified the mobility of value-generating factors within GVCs, and highlighted the difficulty of defining the exact location where value is generated. These developments have significant policy implications. One critical area is that of tax policy, where the challenges posed by the new economic landscape are numerous and multifaceted. On the one hand, governments seek to encourage trade and investment by MNEs by removing tax and regulatory barriers they face. Some governments go even further by resorting to harmful tax competition that drives corporate income taxes to the bottom. At the same time, many MNEs continue to employ enhanced tax arbitrage to minimise their tax obligations across jurisdictions; furthermore, business models are increasingly becoming borderless and highly mobile, and therefore difficult to tax. In view of these challenges, consensus is gradually emerging that tax systems need improved alignment to ensure that profits are taxed where the economic activities generating them are performed and where value is created. Yet, allocating jurisdiction to tax business profits in the context of MNE-controlled GVCs remains a highly complex process.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The fight against tax fraud

28-06-2019

Tax policy, and the fight against tax fraud, have gained particular exposure over the past five years as a result of the light shed by repeated tax leaks and the related journalistic investigations. This has added to the increasing lack of acceptance of damaging tax practices, especially since the recession and the resulting budget constraints. The fight against tax fraud aims at recovering revenue not paid to the public authorities. It also aims at ensuring that fraudsters do not have an advantage ...

Tax policy, and the fight against tax fraud, have gained particular exposure over the past five years as a result of the light shed by repeated tax leaks and the related journalistic investigations. This has added to the increasing lack of acceptance of damaging tax practices, especially since the recession and the resulting budget constraints. The fight against tax fraud aims at recovering revenue not paid to the public authorities. It also aims at ensuring that fraudsters do not have an advantage over compliant taxpayers, thus ensuring tax fairness between taxpayers. Unpaid taxes result in reduced resources for national and European Union (EU) budgets. Though the scale of unpaid taxes is by nature difficult to estimate, available assessments hint at large amounts of resources lost to public finances. Citizens' evaluation of the EU's current involvement in the fight against tax fraud has improved, but the majority of citizens in each Member State still share expectations for even more intensive involvement. Despite this, there is still a considerable gap between citizens' evaluations and expectations of EU involvement. There is still room for improvement in addressing the preferences and expectations of EU citizens. The fight against tax fraud is shared between Member States and the EU. Coming under tax policy, it has remained closely linked to Member State sovereignty, protected by the requirement for unanimity and a special legislative procedure which keeps tax matters firmly under the Council's control. This has been the case since the Union's beginnings, in spite of the proposed limited changes to the tax framework. As shortcomings have been more clearly identified, the discussion has been opened anew in speeches on the State of the Union delivered by the President of the European Commission before the European Parliament. Fighting tax fraud covers not only actions against illegal behaviour, but also the deterrence of fraud and measures to foster compliance. As a result it involves a large reboot of tax provisions, to upgrade them for the scale and features of tax fraud as it is and as it evolves. In spite of the notable deliveries during the 2014-2019 parliamentary term, there remains work ahead, namely because all provisions need to be implemented, enforced, monitored and, if need be, updated, to keep up with the versatility of tax fraud and the pace of digital evolution globally. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Are the current “automatic stabilisers” in the Euro Area Member States sufficient to smooth economic cycles?

27-05-2019

Since 2008, and as the result of central banks reaching the zero-lower bound, fiscal policy has come back as a potential, possibly primary, tool to stabilize business cycles. We present evidence that European countries have historically relied on automatic stabilisers for counter-cyclical policies, while discretionary fiscal policy has been pro-cyclical (unlike in the US). Pro-cyclical fiscal policies became so strong in the years 2010-14 that they completely eliminated the benefits of automatic ...

Since 2008, and as the result of central banks reaching the zero-lower bound, fiscal policy has come back as a potential, possibly primary, tool to stabilize business cycles. We present evidence that European countries have historically relied on automatic stabilisers for counter-cyclical policies, while discretionary fiscal policy has been pro-cyclical (unlike in the US). Pro-cyclical fiscal policies became so strong in the years 2010-14 that they completely eliminated the benefits of automatic stabilisers. Looking forward, there are calls to strengthen automatic stabilisers. We argue in this paper that without addressing the reasons behind the pro-cyclicality of discretionary policy, this cannot be a solution. Strengthening automatic stabilisers faces similar challenges and trade-offs as proposals to make discretionary policy more countercyclical.

Externý autor

A.Fatas

Are the current “automatic stabilisers” in the Euro Area Member States sufficient to smooth economic cycles?

24-05-2019

Automatic stabilisers refer to items on government budgets that operate in ways that smooth the economic cycle. These are found to have played this role to a considerable extent – possibly halving the amplitude of the cycle – in the first two decades of the single currency in Europe. However, discretionary fiscal policies have frequently overruled the working of the automatic stabilisers, thus muting their smoothing impact, both in good and in bad times. A supranational buffer fund, to which Member ...

Automatic stabilisers refer to items on government budgets that operate in ways that smooth the economic cycle. These are found to have played this role to a considerable extent – possibly halving the amplitude of the cycle – in the first two decades of the single currency in Europe. However, discretionary fiscal policies have frequently overruled the working of the automatic stabilisers, thus muting their smoothing impact, both in good and in bad times. A supranational buffer fund, to which Member States contribute in good times and can draw on in bad times, might help to mitigate these tendencies, if underpinned by strong political legitimacy, clear rules, automaticity when possible, and solid judgment when needed.

Externý autor

P.Van den Noord

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