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MNI: Gas Shortages To Delay EU Fiscal Rules Overhaul-Officials

(MNI) Brussels

The EU is set to have other things on its mind than reforming its fiscal rules during what could be a bleak autumn and winter.

A winter energy crisis could further push back already-delayed talks on overhauling the European Union’s fiscal rules, as likely calls for joint spending in response to a gas shortage sideline the prospects for any discussion of long-term debt sustainability and financial prudence, officials told MNI.

The European Commission has promised a “concept” for reform of the fiscal rules contained in the Stability and Growth Pact by the end of September, but given past delays and possible gas rationing, the chances of a further large delay are significant, officials said. An earlier plan for overhauling rules including limits on budget deficits and total debt was postponed during the Covid pandemic, as member states turned instead to approving the EUR800 billion NextGenerationEU recovery fund.

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A winter energy crisis could further push back already-delayed talks on overhauling the European Union’s fiscal rules, as likely calls for joint spending in response to a gas shortage sideline the prospects for any discussion of long-term debt sustainability and financial prudence, officials told MNI.

The European Commission has promised a “concept” for reform of the fiscal rules contained in the Stability and Growth Pact by the end of September, but given past delays and possible gas rationing, the chances of a further large delay are significant, officials said. An earlier plan for overhauling rules including limits on budget deficits and total debt was postponed during the Covid pandemic, as member states turned instead to approving the EUR800 billion NextGenerationEU recovery fund.

Keep reading...Show less