THE REFORM OF THE EUROPEAN UNION’S FISCAL GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK IN A NEW MACROECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT
Mario Alloza, Javier Andrés, Pablo Burriel, Iván Kataryniuk, Javier J Pérez, Juan Luis Vega. Publication date 2021/8/31. Journal Banco de Espana Occasional Paper
Jueves 6 de octubre de 2022, por Carlos San Juan
The main proposals for the reform of the European Union’s fiscal policy framework affect three blocks of issues:(i) simplifying the rules to make them more transparent and flexible;(ii) incorporating new supranational risk-sharing instruments into the Economic and Monetary Union, in particular to facilitate the absorption of severe shocks; and (iii) the fiscal aspects necessarily being accompanied by reforms at the national (structural reforms) and supranational (eg pressing forward with the capital markets union) levels. Irrespective of their political feasibility, these proposals do not easily fit the current macroeconomic environment, which is far removed from that of the 1990s: structural trends, such as digitalisation, globalisation, the climate transition and population ageing, affecting the natural rates of interest and potential growth are emerging or taking hold. Also, after the Great Moderation, we have entered a period of severe global shocks. In this paper we argue that this setting calls for a paradigm shift in how the fiscal policy framework is designed, as opposed to the incremental reform approach of recent decades. This should include improved governance of fiscal rules, which should be simpler, more functional and more credible than the current ones, but it should also go a step further and incorporate supranational risk-sharing components enabling the smooth operation of the monetary and fiscal policy mix, from a wider euro area perspective.