Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Questions (97)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

97. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if he is making submissions to the EU institutions regarding amendments to the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48272/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The EU’s fiscal rules, as set out in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), are an integral part of the EU’s broader economic governance framework. This framework has evolved significantly over the past two decades, particularly following the economic and fiscal crisis, which saw the SGP strengthened through the adoption of the so-called Six- and Two-pack legislative packages.

The European Commission is obliged under the legislation to publish a review of the Six- and Two-packs every five years. The next review is due to be published by the end of 2019. These reviews evaluate, inter alia, the effectiveness of the regulations in ensuring closer co-ordination of economic policies and convergence of Member States’ economic performances, and, if appropriate, will be accompanied by proposals for amendments to the rules.

To date, the Commission has not requested any formal submissions regarding improvements to the European fiscal rules ahead of the publication of the review. However, the European Fiscal Board has published an assessment of the EU’s fiscal rules and this report was discussed at September’s ECOFIN meeting.

I welcome the preliminary discussions on this topic at EU level, with which my officials and I will continue to actively engage.