eurozone sign Medé Libé/Flickr

Les objectifs (inutiles) de déficit de l'Europe ?

BRUXELLES – Les règles budgétaires de l'Union européenne ont subi des améliorations indispensables ces dernières années, mais il reste fort à faire. Non content de souffrir d'un manque de clarté sur les questions clés, la politique budgétaire de l'UE reste trop axée sur des objectifs à court terme, qui se traduisent par une insistance inutile sur les objectifs de déficit nominal sur les cycles budgétaires annuels.

Certes tous les pays de l'UE ont un intérêt réel dans la viabilité des finances publiques de leurs collègues. Mais les déficits annuels sont des approximations peu fiables sur la probabilité qu'un membre doive rembourser la dette d'un autre membre. L'existence de circonstances exceptionnelles, que l'on peut à présent invoquer pour distribuer le fardeau de tous les ajustements nécessaires sur une période de plus d'un an, est utile. Mais elle n'élimine pas la polarisation à court terme qui structure les règles budgétaires de l'UE.

Sur un marché entièrement intégré, le financement annuel des déficits publics ne devrait pas être un problème, quand l'encours de la dette est durable. C'est pourquoi l'UE doit s'efforcer de créer un cadre budgétaire ayant pour unique objectif de s'assurer que les dettes de ses membres sont durables. Par définition, cet objectif doit être propre à chaque pays. Il ne nécessite pas un déficit global inférieur à 3% du PIB chaque année dans chaque pays. Mais cela va demander un cadre d'analyse plus sophistiqué que le cadre actuel, qui distingue à peine les pays sur le fait de savoir s'ils se conforment au plafond de l'UE de 60% du PIB sur la dette publique.

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