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Uniting European fiscal rules: How to strenghten the fiscal framework

Abstract

The current European fiscal framework is highly complex. The multitude of fiscal rules and the discretion in their enforcement precludes an effective oversight and weakens the effectiveness of fiscal rules substantially. Against this background, we present a proposal for a careful refocusing of the framework to promote fiscal sustainability. The proposal is centered around an expenditure rule as an annual operational target supplemented by a debt-correction factor and a multi-purpose adjustment account which implements a medium-term structural balance rule. Together with a significant reduction in exemptions and escape clauses as well as less discretion in the imposition of sanctions, the proposal increases transparency and efficacy of fiscal rules at the European level.

Publication
German Council of Economic Experts Working Paper 04/2018