European Commission approves Belgium’s 2015 budget
The European Commission has approved Belgium’s budget for 2015. Prime Minister Charles Michel welcomed the decision: “This proves that opting for transparency and fiscal discipline has boosted our country’s credibility in Europe”, he remarked.
Last week, at a European summit of heads of State and government in Brussels, the Prime Minister spoke in favour of continued fiscal discipline, coupled with a policy of structural reforms and economic recovery within the Union. The Belgian Government submitted its draft budget for 2015 to Commissioner Katainen’s offices at the same time.
According to the draft budget, Belgium’s budgetary balance should be -2.1% of GDP in 2015, while the structural balance would be -1.3 % of GDP. This represents a structural improvement of 0.7% of GDP between 2014 and 2015.
For Entity 1 (federal level), this means keeping to a budgetary balance of -1.9% in 2015, which corresponds to a 0.725% improvement of the structural balance in 2015.
There were two new aspects to the 2015 draft budget, compared to 2014. Firstly, the draft budgets took account of the transfer of powers enacted by the Sixth State Reform, which saw some expenditure and revenue shifted to the communities and regions. Secondly, the draft budgets were drawn up in line with the ESA 2010 accounting system for the first time.
The Prime Minister stressed that his government is committed to carrying out economic and social reforms to boost employment, which is the best way of guaranteeing long-term financing for the social security system.