Government Finance Statistics (GFS) form the basis for fiscal monitoring in Europe, most notably for the statistics related to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). The EDP is established in the Treaty and specified in the Stability and Growth Pact legislation. The Member States report data related to the EDP to the Commission (Eurostat) which, in turn, is responsible for providing the data to the Council. European GFS, including the statistics for the EDP, are produced in accordance with the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010), the EU manual for national accounts, which in September 2014 replaced the previous version of the national accounting framework ESA 95. It is supplemented by further interpretation and guidance from Eurostat, in particular the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt. Council Regulation 479/2009 as amended requires that Member States report government deficit/surplus (hereinafter deficit) and debt data related to the EDP twice per year: before 1 April and 1 October for the preceding four calendar years and a forecast for the current year. The data are reported in harmonised tables. These tables are designed specifically to provide a consistent framework, with a link to national budgetary aggregates and between the deficit and changes in the debt. They should be fully consistent with GFS data delivered to Eurostat in the ESA 2010 transmission programme. The EDP notification tables contain for general government and its sub sectors:
Table 1: Summary table on deficit and debt, including auxiliary indicators (Gross Fixed Capital Formation, Interest and Gross Domestic Product - GDP)
Tables 2A - 2D: Transition from the working balance to the deficit/surplus for general government sub sectors
Tables 3A - 3E: Transition from the deficit/surplus to the change in debt for general government and its sub sectors
Table 4: Supplementary data.
The data are presented in the Eurostat's Statistics Database in national currency, euro/ECU, and percentage of GDP. In order to reflect economic and technological developments and meet user needs, in September 2014 the new national accounting framework ESA 2010 replaced the previous framework ESA 95. This led to revisions of the time series for all Member States (please see Eurostat press release for the impact of the revisions on the government deficit and debt ratios). The main changes relate to the classification of certain entities into government and the treatment of transactions related to pension schemes. Also the concept of government deficit was changed as regards treatment of interest on swaps and forward rate agreements (Commission Regulation 220/2014 amending the Council Regulation 479/2009), according to which these flows are now recorded as financial transaction in line with the core ESA accounting framework.