Brussels requests Portuguese budget one month ahead of due date
The European Commission wants Portugal to submit the proposed State Budget for 2022 (OE22) one month before the document is adopted by the national parliament, having already asked the Portuguese authorities to release it “in due time”.
“In a letter sent on 15th November 2021, the Commission invited the Portuguese authorities to timely present a draft budget plan as soon as the government presents a new draft law on the State Budget for 2022 to the Portuguese parliament”, states the communication released today on the global assessment of the budget ‘drafts’ of countries in the euro zone.
In the Portuguese case, “the Commission did not adopt an opinion on the draft budget plan presented by Portugal, since the draft budget on which Portugal’s plan was based was meanwhile rejected by its parliament”, justifies the European Commission.
Brussels warns, however, that the new “submission must take place at least a month before the new Budget Bill is due to be adopted by the national parliament”.
At issue is the “autumn package” for the coordination of economic and budgetary policies, published today by the community executive and which includes opinions on the budget plans of the Member States for 2022, but not that of Portugal, which the Commission only expects to receive in March.
Brussels had already informed that it would not comment on Portugal at this stage, as the proposal for OE2022 was rejected by the Portuguese Parliament, which led to the dissolution of the parliament and the calling of early elections for January 30th next year.
Last November, at a meeting of EU Finance Ministers (Ecofin) in Brussels, Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis confirmed that the Commission will wait for the future Portuguese government to present a new budget plan for 2022, only having a new document in March.
Asked then about the situation in Portugal, the commissioner with the portfolio of “An Economy at the Service of People” said that he had the opportunity to raise the issue with the Minister of Finance, João Leão, and indicated that Brussels will wait for a new project of budget to be sent by the Government that is formed after the elections of January 30th, so it will not issue an opinion this month.
Dombrovskis then revealed that, according to “an indicative timetable that was provided to ministers, this could be the case in March of next year”.
Brussels today unveils its “autumn package”, the second in a row to be adopted by the Commission with the budgetary discipline rules of the Stability and Growth Pact suspended to allow Member States to face the crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.