The Roles of Fiscal Rules, Fiscal Councils and Fiscal Union in EU Integration

24 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2015

See all articles by Lars Calmfors

Lars Calmfors

Research Institute of Industrial Economics; IIES

Date Written: August 5, 2015

Abstract

EU-level fiscal rules have not been able to prevent the large-scale accumulation of government debt in many eurozone countries. One explanation was major flaws in the rules. Some of these flaws have now been corrected. But the failure of the rules depended also on fundamental problems of time inconsistency. The same time-inconsistency problems that the rules were designed to address also apply to the rules themselves. Fiscal councils may be subject to less of such problems than rules. Still it is unlikely that a monetary union where bail-outs of governments are part of the system is viable in the long run. The sustainability of the euro may require a restoration of the no-bail-out clause and a strengthening of the banking union in ways that would allow it to cope with the financial repercussions that could arise from allowing government bankruptcies.

Keywords: Fiscal rules, Fiscal councils, European integration

JEL Classification: F55, E61, E63

Suggested Citation

Calmfors, Lars, The Roles of Fiscal Rules, Fiscal Councils and Fiscal Union in EU Integration (August 5, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2642723 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2642723

Lars Calmfors (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics ( email )

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IIES ( email )

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