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Simeon Bischl

24 May 2024
This paper reviews the main arguments underpinning the reform of the EU’s fiscal framework, which has culminated in the adoption by the EU legislators of a revised set of rules for the European economic governance including the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). It takes a chronological approach by first discussing the Commission’s legislative proposals of April 2023 against the pre-reform set of fiscal rules, before assessing the final political agreement which has materialised in the revised set of rules. In view of the multi-dimensional reform outcome, it is argued that the success of the reform of the fiscal framework will ultimately depend on its future implementation by the Commission and the Council. Combining the reform of the fiscal rules with better fiscal coordination through the establishment of a permanent euro area fiscal capacity was not proposed in the context of this reform. This paper argues that completing the architecture of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is an important missing element and should remain a policy priority.
JEL Code
H6 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
H11 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H50 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→General
16 October 2023
This paper analyses the distributional impact of high consumer inflation in the euro area and government measures to compensate households in 2022. The study uses the tax-benefit microsimulation model for the European Union (EUROMOD) with microdata as the input – EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) and household budget surveys (HBS) – to quantify the distributional impact of inflation, income support measures and measures aimed at containing prices. The analysis confirms that purchasing power and welfare were more severely affected by the 2022 inflation surge in lower-income households than in higher-income households. Fiscal measures compensated households for about a third of their welfare loss, though with significant differences between countries. At the same time, fiscal measures closed around 60% of the inequality gap between lower and higher-income households. Most fiscal measures were not particularly well targeted at low-income households, resulting in a higher than necessary fiscal burden to cushion the distributional impact of the inflationary shock.
JEL Code
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D31 : Microeconomics→Distribution→Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
D60 : Microeconomics→Welfare Economics→General
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
H20 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→General
I30 : Health, Education, and Welfare→Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty→General