Policy Article

The European procedure for preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances – evaluation of past experience and possible reform approaches (original publication in German)

Kieler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik, 7

The European Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure aims to identify macroeconomic risks at an early stage and prevent the build-up of dangerous imbalances or reduce existing imbalances in order to prevent crisis-ridden developments in the European internal market and in particular in the monetary union. In general, the procedure is adequately embedded in the European Semester. A problem is, however, that the monitoring-system uses data which are relatively old, adding to the critical problem of timeliness of early warning signals. Using forecasts from the Commission’s autumn forecast could improve on this without adding unacceptable data uncertainty. A weakness of the governance structure is the integration of the policy conclusions from the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure into the general Country Specific Recommendations of the Council which raises the risk that macroeconomic imbalances are not appropriately addressed.

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