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 507 million euro for 2017 and 367 million euro for 2018. For 2019 the Parliament voted a budget surplus of 154 million euro. According to the first preliminary figures the result is again better with 276 million euro. 2020, on the other hand, will be a more difficult year for the budget with an estimated deficit of 431 million euro.
In the following pages you will find the highlights of the revenues and expenditures for this 2019 and 2020 budget outline.