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Reporting of EU countries' actual and planned deficits

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Reporting of EU countries' actual and planned deficits

SUMMARY OF:

Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2009 on the application of the Protocol on the excessive deficit procedure

SUMMARY

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THIS REGULATION?

It sets out the procedures under which EU governments* provide the European Commission with information on their national deficit* and debt*.

KEY POINTS

  • EU countries report to Eurostat, the Commission’s statistical department, their actual* and planned* government deficits and debts twice a year.
  • By 1 April of the current year (known as ‘year n’), the data include:
    • an up-to-date estimate for the previous year (n-1), actual deficits for the 3 earlier years (n-2, n-3, n-4) and planned government deficit for the current year
    • actual debt for the 4 previous years (n-1, n-2, n-3, n-4) and planned government debt at the end of the current year.
  • By 1 October, the data include:
    • actual deficits for the 4 previous years (n-1, n-2, -3, n-4) and updated planned government deficit and debt for the current year.
  • EU countries also provide Eurostat with:
    • data from national accounts;
    • data on their investment* expenditure;
    • actual GDP for the 4 previous years and expected GDP for the current year;
    • additional questionnaires and clarification related to the notifications of deficit and debt that they have reported;
    • a detailed inventory of the methods, procedures and sources used to compile actual deficit and debt data and the underlying government accounts;
    • assistance of national experts, if requested.
  • Where a budget year differs from a calendar year, EU countries provide data for the 2 budget years preceding the current year.
  • Eurostat:
    • regularly assesses the quality of the national data and the underlying government sector accounts;
    • reports regularly to the European Parliament and the Council on the quality of the national data;
    • has permanent contacts with national statistical authorities;
    • conducts regular dialogue and methodological visits to EU countries to review data, monitor procedures and verify accounts;
    • provides actual national deficit and debt data within 3 weeks of the April and October deadlines in the form of press releases.

In 2014, Commission Regulation (EU) No 220/2014 amended Regulation (EC) No 479/2009 replacing the earlier European system of national and regional accounts (ESA 95) with ESA 2010.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It applies from 30 June 2009.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

* Government: in this context, refers to general, central, state and local government and social security funds.

* Government deficit (surplus): central government’s net borrowing (net lending).

* Government debt: general government’s total gross debt at the end of the year.

* Actual government deficit and debt: estimated, provisional, half-finalised or final results for the past year.

* Planned government deficit and debt: most recent official forecasts, taking account of budgetary decisions and economic developments and prospects.

* Government investment: general government’s gross fixed capital formation.

ACT

Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2009 of 25 May 2009 on the application of the Protocol on the excessive deficit procedure annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community (Codified version) (OJ L 145, 10.6.2009, pp. 1-9)

Successive amendments to Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2009 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 04.07.2016

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