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EU Fiscal Rules Reform Possible by End of Next Year, Official Says

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(Bloomberg) — The European Union may come up with new fiscal rules by the end of next year, according to European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

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“It’s feasible, but it depends on how quick the consensus would emerge among member states,” Dombrovskis told reporters in Prague when asked if an adjusted rulebook could be in place before the end of 2023.

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“There’s quite a broad agreement on this main outline,” he said. “From that point of view everyone is on board. Then the question is when it gets more nuanced and more detailed when discussions can become more complicated but we need now to go in those detailed discussions.”

Changes to the fiscal framework have become more urgent to cope with the high level of debt amassed by member states during the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to respond to a worsening energy crisis. But member states still disagree over how much leeway should be given to favor investment in priority areas including green transition or defense.

“Some are emphasizing more this aspect of debt sustainability, some are emphasizing more the aspect of additional flexibility and leeway to member states,” he said. “It always helps to have an agreement on the broad aims and means.”

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