Commission adopts Opinions on the 2016 Draft Budgetary Plans of euro area Member States

The European Commission has completed its assessment of the Draft Budgetary Plans (DBPs) for 2016 that euro area Member States submitted by 15 October. With these Opinions, the Commission assesses the compliance of the Draft Budgetary Plans for the following year with the provision of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). No DBP for 2016 has been found in particularly serious non-compliance. In several cases, however, the Commission finds that the planned fiscal adjustments fall short, or risk doing so, of what is required by the SGP. In addition to the country-specific analyses, and based on the Member States’ budgetary plans, the Commission assessed the budgetary situation and fiscal stance in the euro area as a whole. The Commission also prepared reports on Bulgaria, Denmark and Finland under Article 126(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), analysing the breach of the deficit target and, in the case of Finland, the debt criterion. In all three cases, the reports conclude that the deficit and, where applicable, the debt criterion of the Treaty are considered as currently complied with. Vice-President Dombrovskis, said: “In recent years, we have improved how we coordinate economic policy across the EU. Efforts to pursue more responsible budgetary policies, lower interest rates and the ongoing moderate recovery underpin the continuing decline in public deficits, which fell from 2.4% of GDP in 2014, to 1.9% this year and it is planned to decline further to 1.7% in 2016. For the first time since the beginning of the crisis, we see debt starting to fall too. Still, the picture varies from country to country and the problem of high debt is still holding back a faster recovery. It is important for governments to continue implementing responsible fiscal policies and for others to continue cleaning up their public finances.” Commissioner Moscovici added: “Three years into the implementation of the euro area’s new budgetary framework, most countries are compliant or broadly compliant with the requirements. The euro area continues to improve its public finances, helped along by a strengthening economic recovery.” A press release is available in all EU languages. A memo provides detailed information on the documents presented today. The speaking points of Vice-President Dombrovskis and of Commissioner Moscovici are available online.