Introduction sectionStructure and content of the Economic and Financial Document - DEF

Structure and content of the Economic and Financial Document - DEF

Law No. 39 of 7 April 2011 defines the structure and contents of the Document Economics and Finance - DEF.

  • DEF – Section I – Italy’s Stability Program sets out:

    • the economic policy targets and economic and public finance forecasts for at least the following three years and the targets of the general government accounts shared among the various substectors;
    • an update of forecasts for the current year, highlighting any departures from the previous stability Program;
    • international economic and financial developments, for the current year and the period considered; for Italy, macroeconomic forecasts for each year of the period considered, highlighting contributions to growth of the various sectors, price evolution, the labour market and the balance of payments performance;
    • forecasts for the main aggregates of the general government profit and loss account;
    • policy targets, for each year of the period considered as a proportion of GDP, taking into account the impact of the package on net borrowing, the cash balance, net and gross of interest payments as well as on general government borrowing;
    • the structure of the package needed to meet the above targets, as well as a tentative description of the measures through which the above objectives are expected to be reached;
    • potential output and the structural policy indicators of the general government profit and loss account;
    • long-term public finance forecasts and the action that will be adopted to ensure its sustainability;

     DEF – Section I, Italy’s Stability Program, edited by the Treasury Department, contains Italy’s Stability Programme - PS.

  • DEF – Section II - Public finance analysis and performance contains:

    • an analysis of the general government profit and loss account and cash balance in the previous years and any departure form the policy targets set in the DEF;
    • year-on-year forecasts, at least for the following three years, for the public sector cash balance and information on how to cover it;
    • detailed information on account results and estimates for major expenditure areas, at least for the following three years;

    A methodological note, attached to the second section of the DEF, analytically sets out the criteria used to make year-on-year forecasts;

    DEF – Section II, Public finance analysis and performance, for which the State General Accounting Department is responsible, reports information previously provided in the Economic and Financial Report - REF and in the Public Finance Decision - DFP.

  • DEF – Section III – The National Reform Program reports on: 

    • progress in the implementation of reforms;
    • national macroeconomic imbalances and macroeconomic factors affecting competitiveness;
    • the country’s priorities and the main reforms needed, the timeline envisaged for their implementation and their compatibility with the policy targets set in the first section of the DEF.

    DEF – Section III, the National Reform Program, contains the National Reform Programme - PNR, drawn up by the Treasury Department in cooperation with the European Policies Department.

  • Certain Annexes provide supplementary information to the DEF, including:

    • DEF annexes contain any bills relating to the budget package, each of which envisages provisions relevant to the various areas, bearing in mind the responsibilities of the various general government bodies, and contributes to meeting the policy targets, except those relating to setting the balances under Article 11, paragraph 1, as well as to the implementation of the National Reform Program under Article 9, paragraph 1, also through legal or organisational measures or action aimed at boosting and developing the economy.
    • A summary report on measures carried out in under-developed areas, with particular attention to the consequences in terms of employment, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. The report should include a geographical breakdown of these measures. The report is drafted pursuant to Article 10, Paragraph 7 and Article 12, Paragraph 4 of Law No. 196 of 31 December 2009, as amended. Article 7, Paragraph 1 of legislative decree No. 88 of 31 May 2011 establishes that the Minister responsible for economic, social and geographic Cohesion shall present this report to both houses of the Legislature.
    • The plan drawn up pursuant to Article 1, paragraph 1, of Law No. 443 of 21 December 2001, as later amended, as well as the progress report on the programme for the previous year drawn up by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport are annexed to the DEF.
    • Attached to the DEF is also a document, drawn up by the Minister of the Environment and Land and Sea Protection, after having heard the other Ministers concerned, relating to progress in the implementation of commitments to reduce GHG emissions consistent with the commitments undertaken by Italy at EU and International level, as well as to relevant policies.
    • A special annex to the DEF on Government budget expenditure sets out - on the basis of the most recent end-of-year data, broken down by current and capital expenditure - the resources allotted to individual regional authorities, highlighting the economic categories relating to current and capital transfers to local authorities and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano.


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