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 and 2018 the Parliament voted a budget in balance. However the realisation figures were much better with a budget surplus of 470 million euro for 2017 and according to the first preliminary figures a budget surplus of 362 million for 2018. Also for 2019 the Parliament voted a budget in balance.
In the following pages you will find the highlights of the revenues and expenditures for this 2019 budget outline.