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The pact is dead: long live the pact

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The ECOFIN Council decision of November 2003 that noted the existence of ‘excessive deficits’ in France and Germany but did not impose sanctions on these two governments was widely interpreted as sounding the death-knell for the Stability and Growth Pact. A ruling by the European Court of Justice on 13 July 2004 annulled this decision, paving the way for reform of fiscal policy coordination in the Euro Area. This article examines what caused the difficulties that have arisen, reviews and appraises a range of proposals for reform of EMU’s fiscal policy rules and suggests a way forward.

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