Fiscal policy performance and economic downturn – the experience of the European Union countries outside the euro area




fiscal stance, CEE countries outside the euro area, fiscal rules, fiscal governance


Background: In recent years, imbalances in public finances have been building up in many countries of the European Union, and it has been influenced by, among others, the expansionary fiscal policies implemented during the economic downturns. The beginning of the 21st century was affected by two severe recessions caused by shocks of different natures. Therefore, there is an interest in comparing how fiscal policy was conducted before and during both recessions.

Research purpose: The paper aims to identify changes in fiscal policy and the main causes of these changes in six Central and Eastern European countries outside the euro area, i.e., Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. The focus is on comparing the paths and developments of fiscal policy aggregates before and during the two recessions that occurred in the first decades of the 21st century.1

Methods: The evaluation of fiscal policy is based on a large (full) sample, which covers 2004 to 2019, and sub-samples, which allows for an evaluation of fiscal policy before the two downturns, i.e., before the economic crisis from the first decade of the 21st century, and before the “COVID-19” crisis. The main attention is paid to analyzing the changes in debt development, changes in the budget balance against the background of the cyclical indicator – fiscal stance, and evaluating domestic fiscal rules in the context of fiscal governance, and recognizing the scale of fiscal imbalances. The data used are mainly based on the AMECO database.

Conclusions: The comparison of the fiscal policy performance in the period one year before both crises shows that almost all countries under consideration in 2008 conducted a procyclical policy, whereas in 2019, the fiscal policy was procyclical in all six countries. Regardless of the fact that in recent years the countries increased the number of national fiscal rules, especially domestic budget balance rules, the fiscal policy stance was somewhat procyclical. Moreover, the analyzed countries have large disparities in the level of debt-to-GDP ratio.


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How to Cite

Szymańska, A. (2021). Fiscal policy performance and economic downturn – the experience of the European Union countries outside the euro area. Studia Prawno-Ekonomiczne, 121, 281–303.