Requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States

Requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States


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Economic and monetary affairs > Stability and growth pact and economic policy coordination

Requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2011/85/UE of the Council of 8 November 2011 on the requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States [Official Journal L 306 of 23.11.2011].


This Directive shall apply to the national budgetary frameworks of the Member Sates. The budgetary frameworks detail all the measures, rules and institutions through which the public administrations in the Member States conduct the budgetary policy.

The Directive lays down rules applicable to specific elements of the budgetary frameworks, in particular:

  • systems of budgetary accounting and statistical reporting;
  • rules and procedures governing the preparation of forecasts for budgetary planning;
  • country-specific numerical fiscal rules, such as the debt or deficit limits;
  • medium-term budgetary frameworks;

System of accounting and statistical reporting

Member States shall have in place public accounting systems comprehensively and consistently covering all sub-sectors of general government.

The accounting systems must also enable Member States to ensure regular public availability of fiscal data for all sub-sectors of general government.

Furthermore, the public accounting systems shall be subject to internal control and independent audits.

Forecasts for fiscal planning

Member States shall base their fiscal planning on the most realistic macroeconomic and budgetary forecasts possible. In particular, these forecasts shall include a study of the main fiscal variables based on different assumptions relating to growth and interest rates.

Member States shall make public their macroeconomic and fiscal forecasts, as well as the methods and parameters they have used. They shall also identify the institution responsible for producing these forecasts.

Member States’ forecasts are then compared with the forecasts produced by the Commission. The latter is also required to publish the methods, hypotheses and parameters used. Any significant differences between the Member States’ and the Commission’s forecasts shall be described and explained.

Numerical fiscal rules

EU budgetary surveillance shall be based on the numerical fiscal rules specific to each Member State. The objective of these rules is to avoid excessive public deficit and excessive public debt.

The fiscal rules specific to each country include in particular:

  • the target definition and scope of the rules;
  • the effective compliance with the rules, based on reliable and independent analysis carried out by independent bodies or bodies endowed with functional autonomy vis-à-vis the fiscal authorities of the Member States;
  • the consequences in the event of non-compliance.

Medium-term budgetary frameworks

Member States shall establish a medium- term budgetary framework. This framework is defined as a set of national fiscal procedures extending the development of fiscal policy beyond the annual budgetary calendar. It is accompanied by the adoption of a fiscal planning horizon of at least 3 years. The budgetary framework consists of the following elements:

  • comprehensive and transparent multiannual budgetary objectives, for example in terms of the general government deficit of public debt;
  • projections of each major expenditure and revenue item of the general government;
  • a description of medium-term policies envisaged with an impact on general government finances;
  • an assessment of the effects the policies envisaged could have on the long-term sustainability of the public finances.


The Stability and Growth Pact is a set of rules which establish economic and budgetary surveillance at European level. The aim is to ensure economic and financialstability in the EU.

Member States must therefore pursue sound budgetary policies in order to avoid excessive public deficits which could put the economic and financial stability of the EU in danger.

In 2011 the Stability and Growth Pact was subject to huge reform.. The new measures adopted constitute a significant step in ensuring budget discipline, promoting the stability of the European economy, and preventing a new crisis in the Union.

The Stability and Growth Pact henceforth brings together six legislative acts which entered into force on 13 December 2011:

  • Regulation No. 1173/2011 on the implementation of efficient budgetary surveillance in the euro area;
  • the Regulation (EU) No. 1174/2011 on enforcement measures to correct excessive macroeconomic imbalances in the euro area;
  • the Regulation (EU) No. 1175/2011 amending the surveillance procedures of budgetary positions;
  • the Regulation (EU) No. 1176/2011 on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances ;
  • the Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2011 amending the procedure concerning excessive deficits;
  • Directive No. 2011/85/EU on requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2011/85/UE


OJ L 306 of 23.11.2011

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