The European Commission is today announcing its opinion on the budgets of all Member States. As far as our country is concerned, they have two fundamental observations. Which? And can Belgium be sanctioned?
The European Commission is today announcing its opinion on the European budgets submitted by the member states in mid-October. The standard could already view the verdict that will be announced later today. The European Commission judges that our country’s budget is “partly in line with its recommendations”. The European Commission makes two fundamental observations in this respect.
Current expenses are rising too quickly. In doing so, the Committee mainly looks at the automatic indexation of civil servants’ wages and the increasing social expenditures – partly as a result of the aging population – which structurally push up expenditures too much. The necessary reforms to address these challenges are too long in coming.
No sanctions for now
In addition, the European Commission notes that the energy support that our country offers to companies and individuals is not sufficiently targeted at those who really need it. Moreover, the aid does not sufficiently stimulate the economical use of energy. She also notes that in her assessment she only takes into account the VAT reduction on energy until the end of March. As a result, the Belgian deficit will land at 5.8 percent of GDP at the end of next year and the Belgian debt will then amount to 108.2 percent of GDP.
Belgium is on a list with a whole host of other countries such as Portugal and Slovenia, but also, for example, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, which invite the European Commission to take the necessary measures to bring the budget fully in line with the European recommendations. The European Commission will only issue recommendations for next year, but will still not sanction those who do not follow suit. From 2024, the European Commission will resume its role as a true fiscal watchdog.