Presentation of the IMF Book: Designing a European Fiscal Union - Lessons from the Experience of Fiscal Federations

11 December 2014
12:00  - 14:00
Campus Westend, Goethe-Universität

Editors: Carlo Cottarelli, Martine Guerguil


What can Europe learn from fiscal responsibility sharing practices in federations?

 Does the European Union need closer fiscal integration, and in particular a stronger fiscal centre, to become more resilient to economic shocks? A new book (Designing a European Fiscal Union: Lessons from the Experience of Fiscal Federations, just published by Routledge) examines the experience of 13 federal states to help inform the debate on this issue. It analyses in detail their practices in devolving responsibilities from the subnational to the central level, compares them to those of the European Union, and draws lessons for a possible future fiscal union in Europe.

The book brings to the table new, practical insights through a systematic and comprehensive comparison of the EU fiscal framework with that of federal states. More specifically, it addresses three questions: What is the role of centralized fiscal policies in federations, and hence the size, features, and functions of the central budget? What institutional arrangements are used to coordinate fiscal policy between the federal and subnational levels? What are the links between federal and subnational debt, and how have subnational financing crises been handled, when they occurred? These issues are critical in many federations and central to the  discussions about future paths for the European Union.

Introductory Remarks:
Otmar Issing (Center for Financial Studies)
Vitor Gaspar (Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)


Martine Guerguil (Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF)

Otmar Issing (Center for Financial Studies)
Enrico Letta (former Prime Minister of Italy)

Lucio Pench (European Commission)

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