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Economy and Finance

Launching an Excessive Deficit Procedure

The Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) follows a step-by-step procedure that is outlined in detail under Art. 126 of the Treaty. 

This procedure begins with a Member State:

  • either having breached or being in risk of breaching the deficit threshold of 3% of GDP
  • or having violated the debt rule by having a government debt level above 60% of GDP, which is not diminishing at a satisfactory pace. This means that the gap between a country's debt level and the 60% reference needs to be reduced by 1/20th annually (on average over three years)

In determining whether a numerical breach should lead to the opening of an EDP the legislation specifies how all relevant factors should be taken into account.