Manifesto – NGOs and academics call for fundamental reform of Europe’s fiscal rules

15 March 2022

Joint statement

Finance Watch co-publishes today a manifesto demanding a deep reform of Europe’s spending rules. Signed by over 270 prominent academics, unions and civil society organisations from across Europe, it reminds EU finance ministers meeting today in Brussels of the urgent need to upgrade its fiscal framework to meet 21st century challenges.

The text, that received broad support not only by civil society organisations, think tanks and trade unions but also from employers and academics, states:

  • The aim of economic policy across Europe must not be to simply reduce debt. The economy needs to serve the reduction of socio-economic, intergenerational and gender inequalities, the realisation of social rights and the protection of climate and environment. The EU’s fiscal framework should fully support just transitions and a systemic transformation of our economies and societies to keep global warming below 1.5°C.

The signatories therefore call for:

  • a deep reform of the EU economic governance framework, to make sure reformed fiscal rules will be consistent with agreed EU social, climate and environmental goals. Spending quality is of the essence: citizens’ money must be well-spent and serve democratically-defined objectives.
  • a socio-economic transformation of our economic model, a change of paradigm, emphasising the need for considerably increased public investment as well as a strong social dimension of the economic governance, supported by the European Pillar of Social Rights.
  • a new approach to ensuring member states’ debt sustainability. Reforms must take into account national contexts, the need to avoid self-defeating austerity, the convergence of European economies, and the building up of fiscal risks.

Europe needs an economy fit for the challenges of the 21st century. Do you agree that fiscal policy should be an enabler, not the chain that holds economies back? If you do, please consider signing the manifesto today:

Sign the manifesto