Macroeconomic imbalance procedure (MIP)


The financial crisis, the economic crisis and the crisis of the sovereign debt have stressed the lack of some information in order to be able to analyse the economic situation of the Member States of the EU especially regarding competitiveness and macroeconomic imbalances. In 2010, the European authorities triggered an initiative to enhance the economic surveillance allowing in such a way to detect early macroeconomic imbalances.

The outcome of this process was the elaboration of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) focusing on an early detection of macroeconomic imbalances. This procedure rests on a limited set of simple, measurable, and available macroeconomic indicators grouped in a scoreboard. The indicators of each country are compared to indicative thresholds calculated for the EU in order to identify the problematic areas. The scoreboard is produced yearly and is used for an analysis by the Commission that drafts a report (the Alert Mechanism Report -AMR) transmitted in December of each year to the Council and the Eurogroup. The European authorities may adopt preventive recommendations addressed to the countries with major imbalances and can even start in the more serious cases a corrective action that may be enforced for Euro area countries by using sanctions.

There are now 14 indicators (headline indicators) selected for the procedure focusing on external imbalances, competitiveness, internal imbalances and 3 labour market indicators (activity rate, long term unemployment rate, youth unemployment rate), supplemented by 28 additional indicators to facilitate the reading of the scoreboard. For more detailed information on the MIP see: Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (

The scoreboard, information on the indicators as well as the AMR and the in-depth review by country, when applied, can be consulted on the Eurostat website.

Link to the AMR reports: Alert mechanism report (

Standard quality reports

Considering that the statistics underlying the MIP indicators are compiled by both the European Statistical System (ESS) and the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), the European Council (ECOFIN) requested the ESS and the ESCB to continue working together on improving the quality of the statistics underlying the MIP scoreboard and on ensuring their comparability.

The Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) invited in its Opinion of November 2013 the ESS and the ESCB to continue a close cooperation, to ensure the reliability and comparability of the statistics underlying the MIP.

In that prospect, the two systems producing European statistics, in cooperation with the Committee for Monetary, Financial and Balance of Payments statistics (CMFB) and with the European Statistical Forum (ESF), defined a quality assurance framework of the concerned statistics. This framework includes the production of common standardized quality reports on three levels:

  • ESS-ESCB quality assessment report (level 1 report).
  • Specific quality reports by statistical domain produced by the ESS and the ESCB (level 2 reports).
  • National reports by statistical domains produce by the Member-States (level 3 reports).

The level 3 reports consist of a self-assessment of the national framework determining the concerned statistical process and of the quality of the outputs, considering some criteria being part of the quality framework of the ESS and the ESCB. Those reports were produced for the first time in 2015 (referring to 2014 data) and cover progressively the

These reports can be found here: Quality - Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure - Eurostat (, or on theĀ CMFB website.

With the aim to reinforce the transparency of the statistical processes, the National Bank of Belgium publishes those national reports for the statistical domains she is responsible for, that is to say: