International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., and International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
"Despite a long history of program engagement, the Fund has not developed guidance on program design in members of currency unions. The Fund has engaged with members of the four currency unions—the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, the European Monetary Union, and the West African Economic and Monetary Union—under Fund-supported programs. In some cases, union-wide institutions supported their members in undertaking adjustment under Fund-supported programs. As such, several programs incorporated—on an ad hoc basis—critical policy actions that union members had delegated. Providing general guidance on program design for members in a currency union context would fill a gap in Fund policy and help ensure consistent, transparent, and evenhanded treatment across Fund-supported programs.
This paper considers two options on when and how the Fund should seek policy assurances from union-level institutions in programs of currency union members. Option 1 would involve amending the Conditionality Guidelines, which would allow the use of standard conditionality tools with respect to actions by union-level institutions. Option 2—which staff prefers—proposes formalizing current practices and providing general guidance regarding principles and modalities on policy assurances from union-level institutions in support of members’ adjustment programs. Neither option would infringe upon the independence (or legally-provided autonomy) of union-level institutions, since the institutions would decide what measures or policy actions to take—just as any independent central bank or monetary authority does, for example, in non-CU members."
Mr. Anthony J. Pellechio, Saqib Rizavi, and Phebby Kufa
The fiscal position of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) has deteriorated significantly in recent years, resulting in sharp increases in public debt. The sustainability of public debt is examined using the public sector budget constraint to derive the maximum public-debt-to-GDP ratio that can be sustained based on a country's projected steady-state primary balance, interest rate on public debt, and economic growth rate. In this context, government deficits and debt in several ECCU member countries appear unsustainable, posing a risk to the stability of the currency union. A critical issue facing member countries is to implement fiscal policies consistent with sustainable public finances and debt to underpin the currency union.