Structural Reforms in the ERP: Methodology and Challenges- Serbia (by invitation only)

Workshop: May 24, 2019IBelgrade, SerbiaIApplication deadline: May 17, 2019IBudget Preparation and Execution

The Economic Reform Programme (ERP) is the main document prepared by the candidate and potential candidate countries on the annual basis that serves as a background of their macroeconomic dialogue with the European Union (EU). The ERP’s focus to structural reforms has dramatically increased in post-crisis years as they become perceived as a precondition for sustainable economic growth, jobs creation and competitiveness. This event will be discussing possible ways for improving the quality of structural reforms outlined in the ERP as a way towards securing their coordinated, fiscally-sustainable and timely implementation.

About this event

The ERP preparation requires strong commitment and clear guidance at the government level on prioritization and implementation of structural reforms, as well as their design, costing and financing over a medium-term. Due to complexity of structural reforms significant efforts were put into strengthening of the methodological framework for articulation of structural reforms.

Over the recent years, the definition and prioritization of structural reforms from ERPs has improved while their costing has not seen the same level of progress. The clear methodological guidance on costing of structural reforms, or more broadly on measuring their fiscal implications, was insufficient. Under these circumstances, variety of challenges in proper costing and budgeting of individual structural reforms are being faced.

Therefore, the overall objective of this event is to provide a consistent and user-friendly framework for costing of structural reforms that would contribute to improvement of the overall quality of the ERP chapter covering structural reforms (Chapter 4).

Taking this into account, this event will provide overview of the ERPs’ position and role within the EU economic governance and explain prospects for overcoming inconsistencies in integration of structural reforms from the ERPs into domestic fiscal framework (e.g. national budget, medium-term budget framework, etc.). It will also provide a platform for technical assessment of the latest European Commission’s Guidance for 2020/2021 ERP, while combining it with the analysis of challenges faced in costing of structural reforms submitted in Serbian ERPs from previous years.

Finally, and most importantly, this event will explain the elements of Methodological Guidance for costing of structural reforms under ERPs and provide practical examples on how it can be used for strengthening the existing processes and tools for costing of structural reforms as well as for their financing in Serbia.

The costing is only a final phase of a complex process dependent on strong involvement of line ministries. Therefore, this event will also be focused at reducing capacity limitations in line ministries to assess the costs and funding sources for structural reforms, while touching upon the prospects for incentivizing their coordination in exchange of financial and non-financial information with the Ministry of Finance. 

This event is implemented as part of the CEF’s project “Strengthening Line Ministries’ Capacities to Assess Fiscal Implications of Structural Reforms”.

What will you learn?

This event will bring together carefully selected representatives from versatile group of institutions to discuss prospects for improved costing of structural reforms and their integration into domestic fiscal framework.

Upon its completion, participants will be able to:

  • Identify specifics of the ERP document and its position within the greater European economic governance
  • Appraise the benefits and determine methods and approaches for adequate integration of structural reforms with a significant fiscal implications into medium-term fiscal framework of the country
  • Outline the key features of a redesigned methodological framework for measuring the costs of structural reforms measures under ERPs
  • Examine prospects for practical utilization of the Methodological Guidance
  • Assess how to streamline the process of cooperation and communication between line ministries and ministry of finance in preparation of ERPs.

Since the event will be designed as partaking, the participants will be actively engaged in discussions and encouraged to share their and their institutions’ experiences and challenges. It will provide a ground for sharing the best practices between participants and experts coming from the South East European region.

Who should attend?

Due to complexity of stakeholders involved in the process, invited to participate are the officials having a role in the process of preparation and coordination of inputs for the ERP, and especially those involved in design, costing and budgeting of structural reforms outlined in the ERP. They include:  

  • National ERP Coordinator and Coordinator for the ERP Chapter 4
  • Members of the working group for ERP preparation
  • Officials working at the finance and policy departments of Line Ministries
  • Officials working at budget department of Ministry of Finance
  • Policy planning experts from the government’s policy coordination body and/or Prime Ministers’ office.

Lecturer

Mojmir Mrak- Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Mr Mojmir Mrak has more than 20 years of experience in designing and implementing the Slovenian government’s policy in international finance and EU accession. At the CEF, Mr. Mrak lectures and delivers workshops on Instruments for Pre-Accession Assistance. He also facilitated discussions on the inclusion of structural reforms and policy coordination of medium-term fiscal and economic planning for the CEF’s Building Capacities in Policy Design and Implementation (BCPDI) program. Within the BCPDI, he was an advisor for the EU funded Strategic Planning and Budgeting project; for the Fiscal Impact Assessment of Structural Reforms project, he chaired a working group and co-edited the project’s final publication. Mr Mrak is Jean Monnet professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. 

Partners

This learning initiative is supported by:

Funded by the European Union