Limitations on Government Debt and Deficits: The Netherlands

  • Michal DiamantEmail author
  • Michiel L. van Emmerik
  • Gert Jan Geertjes
Part of the Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law book series (GSCL, volume 20)


Until recently there were no legal or constitutional limits on the Dutch government to incur deficits in its annual budget, nor on its ability to borrow money or incur debt. With the adoption of the Sustainable Public Finances Act (SPFA) in December 2013 the Netherlands established a novelty: for the first time two sets of (material) budgetary rules were codified in Dutch legislation. On the one hand the law codifies the trend-based budgetary policy and on the other hand the law codifies (a general reference to) the European golden rule and other European budgetary norms that apply to the Netherlands. This novelty has not in fact really changed the material budgetary landscape in the Netherlands: the SPFA codifies two sets of rules that were already adhered to during the preparation and execution of the budget. This is mainly due to the fact that there is already a strong sense of political commitment to budgetary and fiscal norms firmly rooted in the Netherlands.


National Court State Budget Budgetary Rule Balance Budget Rule Coalition Agreement 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michal Diamant
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michiel L. van Emmerik
    • 1
  • Gert Jan Geertjes
    • 1
  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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