PBK staff attends conference on Fiscal Rules and Fiscal Councils in the Western Balkans

Employees of the Parliamentary Budget Office attended the conference on ‘Fiscal rules and fiscal councils in the Western Balkans’, which was held in Vienna on 18-20 December 2023, organised by the World Bank. The World Bank Group is committed to supporting the region in strengthening their institutional frameworks for fiscal policy, with the support of the European Union Trust Fund on Strengthening Fiscal Governance in the Western Balkan Countries.

The conference aimed to share experiences and best practices in designing fiscal rules and the operational challenges in establishing and maintaining effective fiscal councils. Building strong fiscal institutions across the Western Balkan countries is important in ensuring the sustainability of public finances, at the same time being aligned with the candidate countries’ European Union accession aspirations.

Day one of the conference discussed the legal framework for fiscal management in the European Union and its impact on national fiscal frameworks; fiscal rules and fiscal sustainability assessment utilising the model of the countries of the Western Balkans; creating preconditions for introducing effective fiscal rules, as well as the assessment of the European Commission with regard to the candidate countries’ compliance with the EU’s budgetary directive.

On day two, participants had the opportunity to learn about topics such as effective independent institutions, fiscal rules in EU, their monitoring and enforcement through the fiscal councils, as well as perception on fiscal rules and councils in the Western Balkans

High officials from the field of fiscal policy from the Western Balkans, the World Bank, the European Commission, the European Fiscal Board, fiscal councils from selected EU countries, the Network of Independent Fiscal Institutions of the EU, Eurostat and other development partners attended the conference.