The European Commission has asked several euro area member states for clarification on their draft budgetary plans for 2017, relating to issues such as reassurances on the behaviour of incoming governments, clarification on demands for flexibility, compliance risks with the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP).
All member states apart from Greece presented their plans in accordance with article 6(1) of Regulation (EU) No. 473/2013 and the Commission now has to adopt an opinion on the draft budgetary plans as soon as possible and in any event by 30 November (article 7(1) of the same Regulation (EU) No. 473/2013).
In the case of Belgium, the Commission asked clarification becaused it identifies compliance risks with the SGP.
In the case of Cyprus, the Commission is consulting "on the reasons why Cyprus plans a change in the structural balance in 2017 which is well below the requirements of the preventive arm of the Stability and Growth Pact."
In the case of Portugal, the Commission welcomes "further information on how Portugal will ensure compliance with the recommended effort for 2017, as committed to in the reasoned request of 18 July 2016."
In the case of Spain, the Commission is seeking reassurances "that the incoming government, as soon as possible upon taking office, will submit an updated draft budgetary plan to the Commission and to the Eurogroup, which will ensure compliance with the targets set out in the Council decision under Article 126(9) TFEU of 8 August 2016."
Similarly, in the case of Lithuania, the Commission is seeking reassurances "that the incoming government, as soon as possible upon taking office, will submit an updated DBP to the Commission and to the Eurogroup, and, in that context, confirms its commitment to the continued implementation of the structural reforms legislated in the course of this year."
In the case of Italy, the Commission asks "for further information on a number of points in order to assess whether Italy fulfils the conditions under which additional flexibility was granted for 2016".
Finally, in the case of Finland, the Commission is asking for further information "relevant to the assessment of your request for flexibility, especially regarding the respect of the required safety margin, the envisaged adjustment path towards the Medium Term Budgetary Objective and the need to bring public debt below the Treaty reference value."