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17/01/2008 : International workshop on 'Achieving and safeguarding sound fiscal positions'

Brussels, 17 January 2008

Despite the impressive fiscal retrenchment programmes implemented by some Member States in the run up to the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and also taking into account the recent progress in correcting excessive deficits, the scope for further fiscal consolidation and for strengthening arrangements that help safeguard sound fiscal positions has not vanished. First, the impending budgetary effects of ageing population require Member States to create the necessary room in their budgets so as to address the increasing weight of age-related expenditures. Second, based on recent experience there is a tendency to spend windfalls during upturns which gives rise to (i) a pro-cyclical fiscal stance and (ii) reduced room for manoeuvre in subsequent downturns.

The workshop aimed at improving the understanding of the determinants and tools of two inter-related aspects of fiscal policy: achieving and safeguarding sound fiscal positions. The topic is particularly relevant for the effective implementation of the preventive arm of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) which requires Member States to achieve and maintain medium-term budgetary objectives (MTOs) that pursue a triple aim: (i) make rapid progress towards long-term sustainability of public finances; (ii) safeguard against the risk of breaching the 3% of GDP threshold of the Treaty; (iii) create room for manoeuvre for automatic stabilisers to play over the cycle. Member States are also required to avoid pro-cyclical fiscal policies and to use economic good times to step up the adjustment towards the MTOs.


The workshop was organised in three thematic sessions focusing on (i) fiscal policy and institutions, (ii) lessons from fiscal consolidation, and (iii) response of fiscal policy to the cycle. See detailed Programme enpdf(21 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  (pdf file 18 kb)


To view the individual sessions please click on the links below: avi

Session 1: Fiscal policy and institutionsavi
Session 2: Lessons from fiscal consolidationavi
Session 3: Response of fiscal policy to the cycleavi
aviPolicy panel discussionavi


Further information

For further information please contact us.

Local information

For detailed information about the venue, local transport and accommodation check here enpdf(64 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  (pdf file 62 kb).

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