The reports under the corrective arm of the Stability and Growth Pact were adopted for Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Romania.
Article 104 of the Treaty lays down an excessive deficit procedure
(EDP). This procedure is further specified in
Council Regulation (EC) No 1466/97, which is part of the Stability and
According to Article 104(2) of the Treaty, the Commission has to monitor compliance with budgetary discipline on the basis of two criteria, namely:
In view of reported budget deficits of more than 3% in 2008, the European
Commission adopted reports for Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Romania in
accordance with Article 104.3 of the Treaty.
The reports analyse the reasons for the breach of the 3% reference value in 2008, taking due account of the economic background and all other relevant factors. Examining whether the deficit criterion in the Treaty was fulfilled, i.e. whether the deficit remained close to the reference value and the excess was only exceptional and temporary, the Commission concludes that, in all cases, the deficit criterion is not fulfilled.
On 18 February, the Commission had already initiated excessive deficit procedures for France, Greece, Ireland, Latvia and Spain.
The reports are addressed to the Economic and Financial Committee, which
formulates an opinion on the reports of the Commission. Taking into account the
opinion of the Committee, the Commission will decide whether to recommend to
the Council the existence of an excessive deficit (Articles 104.5 and 104.6 of
the Treaty) and a deadline for its correction (Article 104.7).