Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

Brussels, 03 Mar 2021

Why is the Commission issuing this Communication now? 

Member States are required to submit their annual Stability and Convergence Programmes by the end of April. These programmes should include Member States’ medium-term fiscal trajectories. We are currently in an exceptional situation and therefore we want to offer Member States some early guidance to assist them in preparing these programmes.

In March 2020, the Commission and Council activated the so-called ‘general escape clause’ of the Stability and Growth Pact. While the clause does not suspend the procedures of the Pact, it allows Member States to temporarily depart from the normal budgetary requirements, provided that this does not endanger fiscal sustainability in the medium term. There are currently no numerical fiscal adjustment requirements stemming from the Pact that can guide Member States’ fiscal policies. Given that the general escape clause has now been activated for almost one year, it is an appropriate juncture for the Commission to set out the considerations for how a future decision on the deactivation of the clause or its continued activation for 2022 should be taken.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility Regulation entered into force in February 2021, meaning that Member States can now present their recovery and resilience plans to the Commission for assessment. The Communication provides some general indications on Member States’ fiscal policy for the period ahead and its link with the funds of NextGenerationEU, in particular the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

Source: Questions and answers: Communication on fiscal policy response to coronavirus pandemic