Stability Programme 2019

Germany meets the Maastricht criteria

In 2018 public budgets again met European requirements, and by the end of 2019 Germany should once again meet the European Union’s criteria on debt, for the first time since 2002. This is laid out in the latest stability programme now adopted by the Cabinet.

50 euro notes fanned out with a ribbon in the German national colours, black, red and gold

The Maastricht Treaty contains regulations relating to the budgetary discipline of EU member states

Photo: Trutschel/

According to the Maastricht Treaty, the total government debt of member states of the European Union must not exceed 60 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP). By the end of 2019 Germany should once again meet this criterion, for the first time since 2002.

The Treaty signed in the Dutch town of Maastricht came into effect on 1 November 1993. The European Union that it founded was based on three pillars: the European Community, the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and cooperation among ministers of justice and home affairs. The first pillar includes provisions affecting Economic and Monetary Union and regulations to ensure budgetary discipline, including the provision that the government debt of EU member states must not be equivalent to more than 60 per cent of their GDP.