Center of Excellence in Finance
Learning and Regional Cooperation in South East Europe

Budget Submissions of Line Ministries

Oct 1517, 2014
Ljubljana, Slovenia Register
  • Chief Officer, Strategy
    Robert Bauchmüller
  • Program Facilitator
    Luka Zupančič

This training activity will be delivered as part of the Strategic Planning and Budgeting (SPB) project, funded by the European Union. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to strengthening of beneficiary countries’ capacity to design and implement medium-term macro-fiscal policy.


As part of the annual budget preparation process, ministries of finance determine the macroeconomic framework, establish expenditure ceilings for the different budget users, and instruct them in submitting their requests, i.e. by assuring that estimates are made in consistence with macro-fiscal objectives, and by challenging submitted costing of existing and any new policy proposals. Budget users’ submissions are also a crucial part of preparing strategic macro-fiscal documents, as, for example, the Economic and Fiscal Program (EFP) or Pre-Accession Economic Program that is assessed by the European Commission on an annual basis.

Budget submissions have often been criticized as being too optimistic or inconsistent with macro-fiscal forecasts. Such shortcomings have been linked to coordination and responsibility issues between budget users, challenges in ministries of finance’ guidance of budget users, as well as to budget users’ limited capacities in preparing their budget submissions, e.g. with respect to costing the fiscal impact of structural reforms. The Workshop aims at strengthening the quality of budget submissions of budget users (in particular budget-intensive line ministries). Case studies will illustrate budget submissions at examples of a budget-intensive sector (i.e. transport infrastructure).

The Workshop will build on such shortcomings, which have also been identified within the CEF’s Fiscal Impact Assessment of Structural Reforms project. In this project, beneficiaries from South East Europe (SEE) discussed country case studies on how fiscal costs of structural reforms are integrated into countries’ annual budgets and medium-term fiscal documents. Whereas ministries of finance benefited more from training and networking, budget users have had fewer such opportunities so far.

How you will benefit

The primary objective of the workshop is to strengthen budget users’ capacity to respond to budget instructions. It aims to:

  • promote a joint understanding of the importance of good macro-fiscal frameworks, especially in the context of preparing for EU accession
  • explore key institutions involved in the budget preparation process, especially with respect to crosscutting, inter-sectoral policies and structural reforms
  • discuss critical elements in the guidance of budget users’ submissions, i.e. with respect to the quality of instructions, templates, formats, definitions, and hearings
  • explore the operations and methodology needed to assess the fiscal impact of existing and any new policy proposals
  • promote an exchange of good practice in assuring realistic and consistent budget submissions

Target audience

The workshop has been designed primarily for mid-to-senior level officials working at line ministries (and other budget users) who provide inputs for the annual budget process and preparation of strategic macro-fiscal documents (e.g., program managers, planning and financing experts, and heads of relevant departments responding to ministry of finance requests).

Mid-to-senior level officials working at ministries of finance (and other coordinating institutions) who integrate such inputs into the annual budget and strategic macro-fiscal documents (e.g., the intermediate and final authors of EFP/PEP reports) are also kindly invited to attend the workshop.

Contributions from participants

The workshop will be highly participatory. Participants are encouraged to be active in discussions and exercises throughout the three days. As part of knowledge exchange, they will have to present their countries’ fiscal programming and most recent budget circular, and indicate aspects of recent improvements, problems, and best practice.

The workshop will be held in English.

  • Chief Officer, Strategy
    Robert Bauchmüller
  • Program Facilitator
    Luka Zupančič