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The future of European fiscal governance: a comprehensive approach

Marzia Romanelli, Pietro Tommasino and Emilio Vadala'

No 691, Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

Abstract: We review the general reasons for limiting the discretion of national fiscal policies in the context of a monetary union and, on this basis, we assess the shortcomings of the current Euro area fiscal framework as well as the merits of the main proposals for its reform. Taking into account the elements of consensus that emerged in the debate, we outline a possible revision of the European fiscal rules. The framework we propose aims at public debt sustainability – focusing on those policies which are clearly harmful to member countries – and it is simple and transparent – avoiding the use of unobservable variables. The new framework would be based on a medium-term debt target and a multi-annual headline deficit profile consistent with that target. The new rules should be complemented with a common fiscal capacity, to compensate for the loss of policy discretion at the national level and to internalize cross-country fiscal spillovers. In particular, we suggest introducing a "contingent" facility, which would be activated in cases specified ex ante or for the realization of common projects of exceptional nature (such as the green transition).

Keywords: fiscal policy rules; fiscal policy; euro area; fiscal federalism; fiscal union (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E61 E62 F45 H77 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec, nep-law and nep-mac
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