Economic programmes

The pre-accession fiscal surveillance procedure aims to prepare EU candidate countries for participation in the EU’s economic and monetary union.

Countries that are candidates for EU membership must prepare pre-accession economic programmes (PEP) that outline the appropriate medium-term policy framework, needed for EU accession including

  • public finance objectives
  • structural reform priorities

These economic programmes allow countries to develop the institutional and analytical capacity which would be needed for participation in the economic and monetary union, particularly in the areas of

  • economic and fiscal governance
  • policy coordination

Main features

Each candidate countries submit its pre-accession economic programme (PEP) to the European Commission by 31 January each year. The Commission evaluates the PEP and produces a report.

The Commission discusses its evaluation with EU countries.  It also discusses the main elements of the programme through regular discussions with the national authorities in each candidate country.

Both the pre-accession economic programmes and the Commission’s assessment of them are published on the Commission's website.

Candidate countries also submit fiscal data on the budget and the public debt. The European Commission and Eurostat assess the quality and reliability of the data and their compliance with ESA 95 accounting standards.