Under the excessive deficit procedure that Croatia has been subject to since 28 January 2014, the country’s government has been obliged to revise its projected budget for the forthcoming three years, which is the timeframe that has been set for putting its finances into “good order”, with “good order” being understood to mean a public deficit that does not exceed 3% of GDP. This new budget is being fixed in adverse economic conditions, as the government’s forecast of GDP growth for 2014 has been revised downward from 1.3% to a tiny 0.2%. Continue reading “Revising the budget in Croatia: yes, but … for whom and why?”
How to put public finances on a good track when (almost) all measures regarding spending cuts and tax increases have been already exhausted? Croatia’s government has been seeking to solve this tricky problem since mid-November when an excessive deficit procedure (EDP) was launched against the country. Let us explain what an EDP means: the public deficit of Croatia currently exceeds 3% of GDP; the breach is neither exceptional nor temporary; consequently, the government of Croatia has to curb its public deficit in a lasting way.
On 28 January 2014, the EU Council will propose (1) the time limits within which Croatia must reduce its deficit below 3% of GDP and (2) the average annual amounts of deficit reduction during the period. Yet, (3) the EU council will invite formally the government of Croatia to propose concrete measures towards reducing the deficit-to-GDP ratio below 3%. Continue reading “Croatia under the Excessive Deficit Procedure: which measures should be implemented?”
On 1 July 2013, ten years after filing its application to join the European Union, Croatia will officially become the 28th member state of the EU and the second member country from former Yugoslavia. Given the country’s size (0.33% of the GDP of the EU-28) and the political consensus on its membership, Croatia’s accession should pass relatively unnoticed. However, there are challenges posed by its entry. Indeed, at a time when the European Union is going through the worst crisis in its history, legitimate questions can be raised about whether Croatia is joining prematurely, particularly as it is experiencing its fifth successive year of recession. The latest OFCE Note (no. 27, 26 June 2013) reviews two of the country’s main weaknesses: first, a lack of competitiveness, and second, a level of corruption that is still far too high to guarantee steady and sustainable growth. Continue reading “Croatia in the European Union: an entry without fanfare”