AIReF organizes, for the second time, the meeting of the Independent Fiscal Institutions of the European Union
For the second time since its creation, the Network of Independent Fiscal Institutions (IFIs) of the European Union meets in Madrid. On this occasion, they discussed their role in the European fiscal governance framework and the results of their analytical work in progress. They also defined the Network’s internal organization and the working program for the next months. The event was attended by 28 IFIs and by representatives of the European Fiscal Board (EFB) which joined the meeting in the most technical part.
The president of AIReF and current chair of the Network, José Luis Escrivá, opened the meeting. He highlighted the relevance of IFIs´ work in the EU fiscal governance framework and how issues such as the Economic and Monetary Union, the elections of the European Union or the improvement of the fiscal situation in many Member States, have overshadowed the fiscal debate. However, he also claimed that the situation would probably change in 2020. “We must be ready to react and have a voice on issues of common interest,” he said. The decisions taken today are an important step to facilitate Network´s responsiveness when the debate on European fiscal governance is relaunched. In this context, the IFIs also discussed the working program for the next months.
The chief economist of IFAC (Irish Fiscal Advisory Council) presented the results of the Output Gap Working Group on the back-testing of alternative estimation methodologies. AIReF´s experience with the Spending Review was also reviewed, as the institution has presented the outcome of the first phase throughout June, and has already begun work on the second phase. The representatives of the European Fiscal Board explained their recent activity and their expected reports until the end of the year.
During the workshop the members of the Independent Fiscal Institutions exchange views about fiscal forecasting. In particular, the representatives of the Parliamentary Budget Office of Italy (L’Ufficio parlamentare di bilancio, UPB), Maria Cristina Mercuri and Carmine Pappalardo, discussed together with Miroslav Klucik, analyst of the Independent Fiscal Institution of Slovakia (Council for Budget Responsibility , CBR) the interaction between macroeconomic and fiscal projections.
The debate also focused on macroeconomic uncertainty and communication . The director of AIReF Economic Analysis Division, Carlos Cuerpo, addressed uncertainty in macroeconomic forecasts with a member of the public finance scientific team of the CPB, Eugene Verkade. Harriet Price, digital communication economist at the British IFI (Office for Budget Responsibility, OBR), analyzed the communication of the Independent Fiscal Institutions.
Finally, Manuel Muñiz, dean of IE’s School of Global and Public Affairs and principal partner of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, closed the seminar addressing the technology geopolitics and its consequences for governance.