For euro area countries, budget monitoring intensifies in the autumn. National governments must submit their draft budgetary plans for the following year by 15 October.

The Commission assesses these plans against the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact. The Commission issues a formal opinion on each plan in November, so its guidance can be taken into account when national budgets are finalised.

Euro area Finance/Economy Ministers discuss the Commission's assessment of the plans in the Eurogroup.