IMF-EC Annual Coordination Meeting: Robust Revenue Administration and Public Financial Management Key to Strong Economic Governance in South East Europe
IMF News Item
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission (EC) held the 3rd Annual Coordination Meeting to discuss the EC-financed capacity development program “Strengthening Economic Governance and Public Financial Management in Southeast Europe” implemented by the IMF in six Western Balkan countries. The Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF), which hosts IMF program advisors for the region, supported the organization of the meeting.
During the meeting, IMF and EC representatives met with high-level officials from ministries of finance and tax administrations—several General Tax Directors among them—from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to discuss progress achieved, the program’s strategic direction and related capacity development priorities, as well as the work plan for the year ahead. The country authorities expressed appreciation for the IMF-EC collaboration in supporting Revenue Administration and Public Financial Management institutions in the region, as part of their economic reform efforts. For example, the Director General of the Montenegro Taxation Authority (MTA), Mr. Miomir Mugosa, said at the meeting that “without the continuous assistance from IMF experts delivered under this EC-financed technical assistance program, we could not have reformed the Tax Administration in Montenegro as we have done.”
Participants discussed reform priorities presented and identified by countries’ representatives, under their respective Economic and Reform Programs, and how best to ensure that the EC-financed IMF capacity development program can support countries in formulating and implementing their reforms through strengthening both public financial management and revenue administration systems. In connection with these objectives, IMF representatives presented key initiatives the IMF is pursuing in the area of revenue mobilization and public finance management. On the former, the Medium-Term Revenue Strategy (MTRS) approach to tax system reform, and on the latter the Fiscal Governance Assessment Tools. The presentations were well received.
Participants agreed that beneficiary countries’ continued ownership to reforms will remain to be key in achieving progress. Participants also agreed on the need to closely coordinate with other partners working in the region such as the World Bank, OECD and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (which also finances IMF capacity development in revenue administration in the region).
Supporting macroeconomic and fiscal institutions and policies in member countries has long been a common objective of the IMF and the EU. The partnership has intensified over recent years and includes regular consultations at the staff and management levels. Recent collaborations include the development of an EU exogenous shocks facility and the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) as well as PFM tools for Infrastructure Governance, such as PIMA, Fiscal Transparency Evaluations and fiscal risks management.
The IMF’s capacity development is a one of the Fund’s core mandate aiming to assist governments in modernizing their economic policies and building strong economic institutions. They are financed jointly by the IMF, external development partners, and IMF member countries.
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