Following the invitation contained in the October 2009 Council Conclusions, 21 EU Member States included in their respective 2009‑2010 Stability and Convergence Programmes (SCPs) information related to the reform of domestic fiscal frameworks. However, detailed information on the scope of these measures and/or an implementation calendar was only provided in 10 cases. By type of measure, changes to the existing budgetary procedures were the most frequent policy initiatives and were foreseen by 19 Member States. As for reforms related to numerical fiscal rules, they were envisaged in 13 SCPs, and the amendment of medium‑term budgetary frameworks or the introduction of new frameworks was reported by 10 countries. Policy initiatives in relation to independent institutions were limited to 3 Member States. In spite of the significant number of recent or announced reforms of domestic fiscal frameworks, compliance in relation to the previous year's policy invitations is rather limited (i.e. policy invitations by the Council in the context of the 2008 2009 SCPs). Only in 7 cases measures contained in the 2009 2010 SCPs follow (at least partly) last year’s invitations. Finally, the Macro Financial Assessments of the programmes were somewhat mixed with respect the measures included in the SCPs of 11 Member States. By contrast, the evaluation of the recently implemented or envisaged measures is rather positive in other 11 EU countries. However, the Commission considers that supplementary policy initiatives would be needed with a view to effectively strengthening fiscal governance. Finally, only in 5 Member States, the existing frameworks do not seem to present major weaknesses.
JEL classification E62,H11, H19, H29, H61, H62
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Occasional Papers are written by the staff of the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, or by experts working in association with them. The Papers are intended to increase awareness of the technical work being done by staff and cover a wide spectrum of subjects. Views expressed in unofficial documents do not necessarily reflect the official views of the European Commission.