The positions recently adopted by the French and Italian authorities concerning the 3% of public deficit threshold have imparted a fresh boost to the recurring debate on the Stability and Growth Pact, which former Commission President Romano Prodi once called a “stupid” pact.
As the member states present their stability or convergence programmes to the European authorities and with the up-coming European elections of May 2014, it is more important than ever to clarify the terms of this debate. It is the purpose of Yves Bertoncini and Sofia Fernandes analysis, based on three complementary statements :
1. The Stability and Growth Pact is not a dogma carved in stone
2. The Stability Pact is a pact resting on political trust among the member states
3. The debate on the Stability Pact is also economic in nature
If the Stability Pact is not completely stable, it is not completely stupid either. Let those countries in difficulty set their economies back on track, let them make choices designed to bring down unemployment and to boost growth – the rest “will be added to them”.