Reforming the European fiscal framework: Increasing compliance, not flexibility

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Publication Date 31/03/2022
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Debt ratios of EMU member states, which were already high in some cases, have increased significantly during the pandemic. This column argues that the current review of the European fiscal framework should not only discuss the design of the framework, but also how to strengthen enforcement and increase compliance with the fiscal rules. Increasing the political costs of non-compliance – through a reduction of complexity of the framework, an increase in national ownership and transparency, as well as simplicity of assessment – could help achieve this. Adding more flexibility, exceptions, and discretionary judgement would be counterproductive.

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