Government Finance Statistics (GFS) form the basis for fiscal monitoring in Europe, most notably for the statistics related to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). The EDP is established in the Treaty and specified in the Stability and Growth Pact legislation. The Member States report data related to the EDP to the Commission (Eurostat) which, in turn, is responsible for providing the data to the Council.
European GFS, including the statistics for the EDP, are produced in accordance with the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010), the EU manual for national accounts, supplemented by further interpretation and guidance from Eurostat, in particular the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt.
Council Regulation 479/2009 as amended requires that Member States report government deficit/surplus (hereinafter deficit) and debt data related to the EDP twice per year: before 1 April and 1 October for the preceding four calendar years and a forecast for the current year. The data are reported in harmonised tables. These tables are designed specifically to provide a consistent framework, with a link to national budgetary aggregates and between the deficit and changes in the debt. They should be fully consistent with GFS data delivered to Eurostat in the ESA 2010 transmission programme.