The recent changes in the EU fiscal governance framework broadened the role of national fiscal watchdogs in an attempt to improve budgetary discipline and to increase national ownership of EU fiscal rules. According to the two-pack, euro-area countries should have in place an independent institution in charge of monitoring compliance with fiscal rules and assessing the need to activate correction mechanisms as under the Fiscal Compact.
The ‘five presidents’ report’ (2015) reiterates the importance of fiscal discipline and calls for the creation of an advisory European Fiscal Board that would advise on the overall direction of fiscal policy of the euro area and evaluate how the fiscal governance framework was executed.
The Commission’s Communication of October 2015 explicitly states that the Board would neither replace national fiscal councils nor duplicate the Commission's work on applying the Stability and Growth Pact. It is unclear, however, how the tasks assigned to the Board would in practice be executed and how the cooperation with both the Commission and the national fiscal councils will materialise.