The council wants to avoid statistical disputes over whether Member States have not complied with debt commitments made before adopting the euro.
Their goal was to prevent governments from devaluing the currency by running up excessive deficits, and so the Council has approved a Code of Best Practice for national banks and statistical authorities to follow when drawing up their accounts for examination by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency.
It has been tasked with advising the European Commission over whether a country has defaulted on its deficit commitments, an error that – in theory – can lead to tough action by the Council of Ministers. The code, said a council note: ‘Aims at clarifying and streamlining procedures, both at the Member States and the Commission levels, when compiling and reporting government accounts, in particular data for government deficit and debt, covering the previous four years and the current year.’
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