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Transparency: The Key to Better Governance?$
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Christopher Hood and David Heald

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263839

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263839.001.0001

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Member-State Budgetary Transparency in the Economic and Monetary Union

Member-State Budgetary Transparency in the Economic and Monetary Union

(p.145) 9 Member-State Budgetary Transparency in the Economic and Monetary Union
Transparency: The Key to Better Governance?

James D. Savage

British Academy

The Maastricht Treaty raised the standards for transparency in the European Union to new supranational levels. Prior to Maastricht, transparency in member-state budgeting depended largely upon domestic institutions, both public and private, to assess the size, composition, and quality of public finance. Transparency at the member-state level served the traditional functions of encouraging democratic political accountability, promoting political control over bureaucratic institutions, crafting fiscal policy, and ensuring probity in financial management. Transparency for ensuring macro-budgetary treaty compliance promotes EU integration while helping to assure an often doubtful European public, international financial markets, and world press that the Economic and Monetary Union's (EMU) convergence process and excessive deficit procedure rely on reasonably credible budgetary data. This chapter discusses macro-budgetary rules and the creation of compliance information systems, transparency through bureaucratic politics, and the role of Eurostat in budgetary surveillance. It also examines the twin challenges to EU budgetary transparency, those of disclosure and interpretation, faced by Greece.

Keywords:   European Union, Maastricht Treaty, transparency, budgeting, accountability, fiscal policy, compliance information systems, bureaucratic politics, Eurostat, budgetary surveillance

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