Monday, 6 October 2008

EU: Excessive government deficits If

As an interlude, we complement our presentation of legal materials with some suggestions for further reading on economic and monetary union (EMU), including excessive government deficits.

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Wikipedia


For the general reader, Wikipedia offers a very short introduction ‘Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union’, although the article mainly outlines monetary union (the single currency), not economic policy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_and_Monetary_Union_of_the_European_Union


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Stability and Growth Pact


The Economic and Financial Affairs web pages of the European Commission offer a page ‘Stability and Growth Pact’ with links to relevant documents:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/other_pages/other_pages12638_en.htm


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EMU legal and political texts

The joint publication by the Council Secretariat and the Commission ‘Economic and monetary union ─ Legal and political texts’ is called selective, but manages to compile more than enough for more casual readers on its 276 pages. The materials are still fresh, published in June 2007, and they offer “all you need” in one handy chunk, available in print form through OPCE’s EU Bookshop and as a free download at:

http://bookshop.europa.eu/eubookshop/FileCache/PUBPDF/QC7606262ENC/QC7606262ENC_002.pdf

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Implementation requirements

The Commission’s ‘Specifications on the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and Guidelines on the format and content of Stability and Convergence Programmes’ presents a lot of factual information about the reporting and programme criteria:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/about/activities/sgp/codeofconduct_en.pdf


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EMU at ten

The European Commission’s publication ‘EMU@10: successes and challenges after 10 years of Economic and Monetary Union’ looks at the history, the shortcomings and the challenges of EMU. The 342 page report proceeds to propose the Commission’s reform agenda. EMU@10 is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/publication12682_en.pdf

The report was accompanied by a Communication bearing the same name, COM(2008) 238 final:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/emu10/com2008_238en.pdf

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Public finances in EMU

The European Commissions 314 page report ‘Public finances in EMU ─ 2008’ offers a wealth of information on the fiscal policies and effects both in the Eurozone (and the EU) as a whole and for each member state. The report shows how robust the public economies of the member states were before the financial sector meltdown:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/publication12832_en.pdf

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On the back of the report ‘Public finances in EMU ─ 2008’ the Commission published a Communication ‘The role of quality public finances in the EU governance framework’ COM(2008) 387 final, with suggestions for improvements:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/publication12836_en.pdf

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Convergence Report

Ten member states still outside the Eurozone are studied in ‘Convergence Report 2008’ on fulfilment of their obligations to achieve economic and monetary union. The Report consists of the Commission Communication COM(2008) 248 and a Technical Annex (224 pages in all).
These member states ‘with a derogation’ are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.

(Denmark and the United Kingdom have legal arrangements not to adopt the euro, and are not included in the report, whereas Sweden stays outside the Eurozone artificially.)
The Convergence Report 2008, which includes a recap of the convergence criteria, is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/publication12574_en.pdf

The different language versions of the Convergence Report 2008 can be accessed through the web pages of the European Central Bank, too; here is the English version:

http://www.ecb.eu/pub/pdf/conrep/cr200805en.pdf

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Stability reports

The majority (15 ─ soon 16 ─ of 27) member states already having adopted the single currency file stability reports. The latest Council opinion is on the updated stability programme of Belgium: Council Opinion of 8 July 2008 on the updated stability programme of Belgium, 2007-2011 (OJ 19.7.2008 C 182/1) offers a picture of the procedures and assessments:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:182:0001:0005:EN:PDF


Ralf Grahn