Download publication

Policy Contribution

A proposal to revive the European Fiscal Framework

The current European fiscal framework is inefficient. It should be replaced with a system based on rules more suited to the two core objectives: public debt sustainability and fiscal stabilisation. The rules should be more transparent and easier to implement. These reforms would promote greater compliance.

By: , and Date: March 29, 2016 European Macroeconomics & Governance Tags & Topics

Highlights

• Pro-cyclical fiscal tightening might be one reason for the anaemic economic recovery in Europe, raising questions about the effectiveness of the EU’s fiscal framework in achieving its two main objectives: public debt sustainability and fiscal stabilisation.

• In theory, the current EU fiscal rules, with cyclically adjusted targets, flexibility clauses and the option to enter an excessive deficit procedure, allow for large-scale fiscal stabilisation during a recession. However, implementation of the rules is hindered by the badly-measured structural balance indicator and incorrect forecasts,leading to erroneous policy recommendations. The large number of flexibility clauses makes the system opaque.

• The current inefficient European fiscal framework should be replaced with a system based on rules that are more conducive to the two objectives, more transparent, easier to implement and which have a higher potential to be complied with.

• The best option, re-designing the fiscal framework from scratch, is currently unrealistic. Therefore we propose to eliminate the structural balance rules and tointroduce a new public expenditure rule with debt-correction feedback, embodied in a multi-annual framework, which would also support the central bank’s inflation target. A European Fiscal Council could oversee the system.

View comments
Read about event More on this topic

Upcoming Event

Oct
13
08:30

The Euro and the battle of ideas

Why is the Euro in trouble? Are philosophical differences between the founding countries to blame and can those differences be reconciled?

Speakers: Markus K. Brunnermeier, Harold James and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Policy Contribution

cover

What are the prerequisites for a euro-area fiscal capacity?

In this Policy Contribution, Maria Demertzsis and Guntram B. Wolff discuss three progressive steps for strengthening the fiscal framework at the euro-area level. These lead to less interference in national fiscal policymaking thanks to a more credible no-bailout clause, increased risk sharing and different degrees of provision of euro-area-wide public goods and fiscal stabilisation.

By: Maria Demertzis and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: September 9, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Dijsselbloem photo

Speech by Jeroen Dijsselbloem at Bruegel Annual Dinner 2016

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President f the Eurogroup, delivered the keynote speech at Bruegel's Annual Dinner 2016, held on 6 September 2016.

By: Jeroen Dijsselbloem Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: September 7, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Nicolas Véron

The IMF’s performance on financial sector aspects of the euro area crisis

The recently published in-depth evaluation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s role in the euro area crisis highlights important contrasts in the area of financial services. The IMF provided highly valuable analysis and recommendations to the EU on its banking sector and related policies. In individual countries (leaving aside Cyprus and the second Greek programme, not covered by this evaluation), the financial-sector aspects of the IMF’s interventions were highly successful in Ireland and Spain, ambiguous in Greece, and a missed opportunity in Portugal.

By: Nicolas Véron Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: August 29, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Jérémie Cohen-Setton

The fiscal stance puzzle

What’s at stake: In a low r-star environment, fiscal policy should be accommodative at the global level. Instead, even in countries with current account surplus and fiscal space the IMF appears to have trouble advocating fiscal expansion. This also raises a political economy puzzle regarding the persistence of the current policy mix of tight fiscal and easy money.

By: Jérémie Cohen-Setton Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: August 29, 2016
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Does the euro area need a sovereign insolvency mechanism?

The sovereign debt crisis shook the Euro to its foundations. It soon became clear that there was no mechanism to allow a tidy insolvency of a state wishing to remain inside the euro area. To face future crises, does the EU need a sovereign insolvency mechanism?

Speakers: Jochen Andritzky, Lars Feld, Zsolt Darvas and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 12, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

European fiscal rules

The current European fiscal framework is inefficient and relies on indicators that are badly estimated. How can the rules be improved and what can a European fiscal council add to this?

By: Bruegel Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 15, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Uuriintuya Batsaikhan

Brexit and the UK’s Euro-denominated market: the role of clearing houses

Clearing houses in the UK operate an extremely sizable market in euro-denominated transactions. However, even though the numbers are big in value terms, in substance, clearing houses shifting to the continent will not make a big difference to the UK economy and employment. Arguably, there is a case for the ECB to claim that euro area business of clearing houses be relocated.

By: Uuriintuya Batsaikhan Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 7, 2016
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Internet taxation: challenges and policy recommendations

As the economy moves online, it becomes more difficult for national tax authorities to collect revenue. How great is the impact, and what should corporate taxation look like in the digital age?

Speakers: Francis Bloch, Caroline Edery, Dmitri Jegorov, Helena Kiurusalmi, J. Scott Marcus and Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 7, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Jérémie Cohen-Setton

The abandonment of counter-cyclical fiscal policy

What’s at stake: The reluctance to use fiscal policy as a stabilizing tool in the current deflationary environment has been puzzling to many and a number of authors are now putting forward possible explanations.

By: Jérémie Cohen-Setton Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: May 30, 2016
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Pia Hüttl
Alvaro Leandro

The implications of the Panama Papers

What’s at stake: The Panama Papers leaked last week raised important questions about the role of tax havens. We explain the mechanics of tax evasion and review the most important lessons to take away from the leaks.

By: Pia Hüttl and Alvaro Leandro Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: April 18, 2016
Read article More on this topic

Opinion

Grégory Claeys
Zsolt Darvas

How to reform EU fiscal rules

The current inefficient European fiscal framework should be replaced with a system based on rules that are more conducive to the two objectives of public debt sustainability and fiscal stabilisation.

By: Grégory Claeys and Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: April 12, 2016
Load more posts