Euroopan unionin taloushallintojärjestelmän joustavuus. Finanssihallinnollisia tutkimuksia joustavuuden eri muodoista ja kehityksestä vuosina 1968-2009
Title: Euroopan unionin taloushallintojärjestelmän joustavuus. Finanssihallinnollisia tutkimuksia joustavuuden eri muodoista ja kehityksestä vuosina 1968-2009
Author: SAARILAHTI, Ilkka
Publisher: European Press Academic Publishing
Citation: Florence, European Press Academic Publishing, 2012
This collection of studies analyses the various ways and means that the financial system of the European Union has at its disposal for handling the inevitable uncertainties of the future and traces their evolution since the creation of the general budget of the European Communities in 1968. Special attention is paid to the consequences of this evolution not only for the various actors involved – namely the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and Member States – but also for the financial system of the European Union as a whole. The question of the uncertainty of the future is addressed in the light of the theory of “Budgetary Flexibility”, which posits an essential distinction between “External Flexibility and “Internal Flexibility, on the one hand, and “Annual Flexibility“ and “Multiannual Flexibility“ on the other. External Flexibility differs from Internal Flexibility in that, in the case of the former, more resources (or fewer, in the case of budget cuts) can be allocated in the course of the budgetary year. In the case of the latter, budget limits (frames) are maintained, i.e. a reallocation of resources during the financial year will not lead to the growth in the overall size of the budget. At the same time, Multiannual Flexibility differs from Annual Flexibility in that the former can be considered as an exception to the principle of budgetary annuality as set out by the EC and EU Treaties. The theory of “Budgetary Flexibility” allows to place under a common theoretical framework processes that are often considered separate (and treated in the academic literature as such), and also enables to analyse the pros and cons and the consequences of such flexibility, and to draw conclusions at the level of the European Union. The studies also develop further the theory, devised originally in the 1990s to analyse the budgetary systems of the Member States. The studies focus on three recent major negotiations which led to the Financial Regulation of 25 June 2002, to its first modification, adopted on 13 December 2006, and to the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management and to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2007-2013. The main forms of flexibility identified in the studies are: the system of amending budgets, the quantity of various budget headings and ”operational” budget lines in the general budget and the system of transfer of appropriations during the budgetary year (”structural flexibility”), the system of compulsory vs non-compulsory expenditure (”normative flexibility”), the system of provisional appropriations, reserves and Funds, the system of commitment appropriations, the system of carry-overs, and the various flexibility elements present in budgetary discipline system and the multiannual financial perspectives and framework of the European Union.