A network of independent fiscal institutions (IFIs) was set up in 2013. This network, open to all independent institutions of the European Union, provides a framework for them to exchange views, expertise and resources on subjects of common interest. It aims at encouraging exchanges of information between institutions on their practices, the difficulties encountered in carrying out their tasks, their reading of European texts, etc. Since the network was set up, it has been very useful to the work of the High Council for learning from others and comparing working methods.
Now made up of 32 institutions, it has a President and two Vice-Presidents. The network holds two meetings a year, in spring and autumn. Two meetings were held in Paris, one in 2016 and the other in 2022. There are also numerous e-mail exchanges, videoconferences and bilateral meetings between network members. Cooperation has also gradually been established between the IFIs participating in the network and the European committees where economic and financial issues are discussed (Economic and Financial Committee and Economic Policy Committee).
In addition to exchanging information between IFIs, the network has gradually become a key source of information on public finance in Europe. Since its creation, it has published numerous studies and contributions, in particular through a regular publication, the European Fiscal Monitor, which, based on the work of the network's members, covers the latest developments in public finances in Europe, examines fiscal policies pursued by member states, etc. The HCFP's general rapporteur is a member of its editorial committee.
The network regularly produces ad hoc studies and reports, dealing with concrete issues that arise for IFIs in the exercise of their mandate, or with topical themes: the estimation of the output gap and the structural balance, the classification of exceptional and temporary measures, the governance of public finances in Europe, the public debt situation following the Covid crisis, the impact of the climate transition on public finances, in particular.
Finally, the IFI network has produced so-called "position papers" reflecting members' common positions on issues relating to the European governance of public finances. In particular, the network has been active in the debate on the European economic governance, as defined in the Stability and Growth Pact. In particular, the network has promoted common minimum standards for IFIs, a proposal partly taken up by the European Commission in its spring 2023 proposals for reforming the European economic governance. The HCFP actively contributed to this work by organizing a conference in Paris in May 2022 on this topic, attended by European IFIs and the EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni.
Conference 2022: "European economic governance: new rules for new times?" - May 10, 2022 at 2:30 pm in Paris