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Requirements for Euro area countries’ budgets

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Requirements for Euro area countries’ budgets


Directive 2011/85/EU — requirements for euro area countries’ budgets



It lays down detailed rules for national budgets. These are necessary to ensure EU governments respect the requirements of economic and monetary union and do not run excessive deficits.


EU governments must:

Operate public accounting systems that comprehensively cover all areas of income and expenditure. These must be subject to internal control and independent audits.

Make the fiscal data publicly available. Those for central and state government and the social security sector must be supplied monthly and those for local government quarterly.

Ensure their fiscal planning is based on realistic macroeconomic and budgetary forecasts, using the most up-to-date data. These include latest European Commission forecasts and, where relevant, those from independent organisations.

Operate specific fiscal rules to help ensure the overall government budget complies with European rules. The aim is to avoid excessive public deficit or debt. Independent organisations carefully monitor compliance with the rules.

Establish a credible, effective medium-term budgetary framework that includes a 3 year fiscal planning horizon. This contains multiannual budgetary objectives, projections of major expenditure and revenue items and assessment of the long-term sustainability of public finances.

Ensure consistency and coordination of all accounting rules and procedures across all areas of government activity.

In its 2014 report on the quality of national fiscal data, the Commission found that EU governments were very good at complying with reporting deadlines, but that completeness of the excessive deficit tables could be improved.


The directive is one of 6 legislative measures (known as the 6-pack) that came into force on 13 December 2011 and strengthen EU fiscal and economic governance.

This was followed by the 2-pack that further improves budgetary surveillance in the Euro area. Under its European semester procedure, every country using the euro must submit its draft budget to the Commission by mid-October. If the Commission considers this may not satisfy the single currency rules, it may request it be revised.


A short guide to the new EU fiscal governance


Council Directive 2011/85/EU of 8 November 2011 on requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2011/85/EU



OJ L 306, 23.11.2011, pp. 41–47


Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Towards implementing harmonised public sector accounting standards in Member States – The suitability of IPSAS for the Member States (COM(2013) 114 final of 6.3.2013)

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the quality of fiscal data reported by Member States in 2013 (COM(2014) 122 final of 7.3.2014)

last update 13.10.2015