25-27 May 2016
The Ministry of Finance organised a 3-day workshop on ‘Fiscal Governance and the Role of Fiscal Councils’ that took place between 25 and 27 of May. The workshop was organised with the assistance of the EU Technical Assistance Project ‘to Improve Public Finance Policy and Public Financial Management’.
The purpose of the workshop was to present the experience on Fiscal Governance as well as to understand the mandate and operation of the Fiscal Councils of Serbia, a candidate country to the EU, and Lithuania, Sweden and Slovakia, EU Member States. This workshop is one of the planned activities by the Ministry to help Moldova to draw lessons from countries that are more advanced in their fiscal governance frameworks.
The introductory sessions of the workshop were delivered by Minister Octavian Armasu and Ekaterina Yakovleva of the EU Delegation, while State Secretary Veronica Ursu acted as a workshop moderator. The workshop was attended by personnel of key departments of the Ministry of Finance, representatives of the State Chancellery, the Ministry of Economy, the Parliamentary Committee on Economy, Budget and Finance, the Court of Accounts, as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations active in the area of public financial management.
The speakers of workshop were: Mladen Lazic from the Ministry of Finance of Serbia and Nikola Altiparmakov, Member of the Fiscal Council of Serbia; Ricardas Kasperavicius from the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania; Joachim Sonnegård Head of the Agency of the Fiscal Council of Sweden; and Alexander Cirak from the Ministry of Finance of Slovakia.
Following three days of intensive discussions, the workshop concluded in a series of key messages:
The four countries presented during the workshop have different approaches to fiscal governance. There is not one standard approach to reform but a common lesson learnt from the experience of all countries is that the reform process must be designed carefully, suit local conditions and capacity and implemented gradually.
An important common feature that emerged during the discussions concerned the importance of the Ministry of Finance in fiscal governance. All speakers stressed the need for the Ministry of Finance to have a clear mandate, authority and adequate capacity to design, implement and monitor fiscal policy, as well as effectively direct and manage the medium-term and annual budget processes.
Moldova has a new fiscal framework set in Law No 181 on Public Finance and Fiscal Responsibility, which is being implemented from this year. All speakers were in broad agreement that the new fiscal framework provides an appropriate basis for the development of the economy and public financial management in Moldova and some time will be required in order to further assess the effectiveness of the new fiscal framework.
In all four countries discussed, fiscal councils have been established fairly recently during the last decade: Sweden 2007, Serbia 2010, Slovakia 2011, and the latest one being in Lithuania in 2014. With regard to a possible future role of a Fiscal Council in Moldova the speakers advised careful analysis taking explicit account of Moldova’s institutional arrangements and the country’s capacity and financial constraints.