On the hobbled reform of the Stability and Growth Pact – M. Bursi

The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) represents one of the main pillars of the Eurozone, a complex system of rules aimed at harmonising the economic policies of several sovereign States that share a common currency within a peculiar supranational institution. This set of norms has been designed throughout the past thirty years and it can be considered as a mutable framework which is defined by the evolution of the European project and by the challenges that the EU has to face. Given the absolutely innovative nature of a monetary union with no common economic and fiscal policies — moreover, characterised by Countries with heterogeneous features — it should come as no surprise that the rules governing its functioning have always been a matter of wide-ranging debate, with different theories periodically coming into conflict and highlighting proposals of radically different nature (which also change depending on the political vision assigned to the European Union).

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Abstract: The aim of this paper is to study the revision of the Stability and Growth Pact recently approved at the EU level. In this perspective, first of all, we examine the economic governance framework that emerged in the aftermath of the sovereign debt crisis, listing its weaknesses and mentioning the main revision hypotheses suggested by scholars of various fields. Then, secondly, we discuss the European Commission’s reform proposal, considering the November 2022 Communication and the changes presented in April 2023. Subsequently, we analyse the compromise reached by the Council of the European Union in December and, finally, we present an assessment concerning the economic and political vision underlying the final text.

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