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Requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States

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Requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States

This Directive establishes specific rules concerning the national budgetary frameworks of the Member States. These rules form part of the budgetary surveillance framework within the European Union (EU). The aim of these rules is to ensure that Member States comply with the obligations placed upon them pursuant to the Stability and Growth Pact.


Directive 2011/85/EU of the Council of 8 November 2011 on the requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States [Official Journal L 306 of 23.11.2011].


This Directive shall apply to the national budgetary frameworks of the Member States. They detail all the measures, rules and institutions through which the public administrations in the Member States conduct their budgetary and fiscal policy.

System of accounting in the public sector and statistical reporting

Member States shall have in place public accounting systems comprehensively and consistently covering all sub-sectors of general government.

The accounting systems must also enable Member States to ensure regular public availability of fiscal data for all sub-sectors of general government, established on cash-based accounting and containing the information required to product reliable data, in line with the concepts and definitions of national accounting systems.

Furthermore, the public sector accounting systems shall be subject to internal control and independent audits.

Lastly, the Directive invites the Commission to assess the suitability of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards for the Member States before end 2012.

Forecasts for fiscal planning

Member States shall base their fiscal planning on the most realistic macroeconomic and budgetary forecasts possible. In particular, these forecasts shall include a study of the main fiscal variables based on different assumptions relating to growth and interest rates.

Member States shall publish their macroeconomic and fiscal forecasts, as well as the methods and parameters they have used. They shall also identify the institution responsible for producing these forecasts.

Member States’ forecasts are then compared with the forecasts produced by the Commission. The latter is also required to publish the methods, hypotheses and parameters used. Any significant differences between the Member States’ and the Commission’s forecasts shall be described and explained.

Numerical fiscal rules

EU budgetary surveillance shall be based on the numerical fiscal rules specific to each Member State. The objective of these rules is to avoid excessive public deficit and excessive public debt.

The fiscal rules specific to each country include in particular:

  • the target definition and scope of the rules;
  • the effective compliance with the rules, based on reliable and independent analysis carried out by independent bodies or bodies endowed with functional autonomy vis-à-vis the fiscal authorities of the Member States;
  • the consequences in the event of non-compliance.

Medium-term budgetary frameworks

Member States shall establish a medium- term budgetary framework. This framework is defined as a set of procedures extending the development of fiscal policy beyond the annual calendar. It is accompanied by the adoption of a fiscal planning horizon of at least 3 years.

The budgetary framework consists of the following elements:

  • comprehensive and transparent multiannual budgetary objectives, for example in terms of the general government deficit of public debt;
  • projections of each major expenditure and revenue item of the general government;
  • a description of medium-term policies envisaged with an impact on general government finances;
  • an assessment of the effects the policies envisaged could have on the long-term sustainability of the public finances.


The Stability and Growth Pact is a set of rules which establish economic and budgetary surveillance at European level in order to ensure economic and financial stability in the EU.

In 2011 the Stability and Growth Pact was subject to huge reform. The Stability and Growth Pact henceforth brings together six legislative acts which entered into force on 13 December 2011:

  • the Regulation (EU) No. 1173/2011 on the implementation of efficient budgetary surveillance in the euro area;
  • the Regulation (EU) No. 1174/2011 on enforcement measures to correct excessive macroeconomic imbalances in the euro area;
  • the Regulation (EU) No. 1175/2011 amending the surveillance procedures of budgetary positions;
  • the Regulation (EU) No. 1176/2011 on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances;
  • the Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2011 amending the procedure concerning excessive deficits;
  • this Directive on requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States. It is today applicable in full as the deadline for its transposition by the Member States was set at 31 December 2013, given that the Commission had to present an interim progress report on its implementation at end 2012.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2011/85/EU



OJ L 306 of 23.11.2011


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 - Not published in the Official Journal].

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 - Not published in the Official Journal].

The report is based on the main results of the assessment of data notified in 2013 under the excessive deficit procedure (EDP). Overall, the Commission notes that the reporting quality of budgetary data has continue to improve in 2013.

Last updated: 27.06.2014