Over the past few years, the institutional landscape for the Flemish budget has undergone drastic changes, which will continue to have an impact on the years to come. Firstly, there are the new European budgetary rules that were created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. More stringent rules were adopted and European macroeconomic surveillance and coordination procedures were extended. Secondly, there is the Sixth State Reform, which brings substantial changes to the Flemish budgetary landscape. The size of the Flemish budget has grown substantially; in addition, Flanders has gained a large increase in tax autonomy.
Despite these changes, the Flemish Government has worked hard to reduce its deficit: in 2016, the annual deficit was limited to 127 million euro. In 2017 the Parliament voted a budget in balance and in September 2017, the Flemish Government has introduced an outline for the initial 2018 budget, which is also in balance. In October, the Government has introduced the draft budget at the Parliament, which will discuss it in parliamentary commissions. The initial 2018 budget draft is expected to be voted by the Flemish Parliament in December this year.
In the following pages you will find the highlights of the revenues and expenditures for this 2018 budget outline.