Comparative Fiscal Federalism. Lessons to be Learned for the EU

Fiscal Federalism

‘Fiscal federalism’ describes the financial relations between government levels in multilevel polities, mainly federal states: The Federation and its downstream entities are connected financially by a system of rights, obligations, and competences like taxation, spending rights or transfers of funds, while also the downstream government levels enjoy a certain autonomy in fiscal matters.

In their consequence, the steps taken by the EU and its Member States to overcome the financial and sovereign debt crises, with the introduction of new measures and procedures to govern fiscal relations may well develop into a comparable system. Also, these measures led to fierce discussions about sustainability, stabilisation, growth, the setting of right or wrong incentives and solidarity.

Informed by these developments, lawyers, economists and political scientists from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and the US led by the SCEUS researchers Stefan Griller, Florian Huber, and Sonja Puntscher Riekmann united to sound out their respective fiscal federalisms on mechanisms, procedures and institutions that possibly can be made useful with regard to future fiscal relations in the EU.

The project is divided into three steps: Step 1 aims at a detailed analysis of fiscal federalisms in the seven federations. Step 2 will answer a similar set of questions for the current EU. Based on our findings, we will finally develop suggestions for instruments of fiscal federalism in the EU that are efficient in day-to-day political practice and can be expected to preclude future sovereign debt crises, while securing a level of democratic control that can be expected from a 21st century Western polity.

The FWF funded, three years research-project started in October 2019. A kick-off meeting in November 2019 at the SCEUS set out a detailed research- and publication agenda. Two more workshops will take place in October 2020 and 2021, respectively. The final outcome of the project will not only be published in a book, but also presented to EU decision makers at a conference in Brussels in June 2022.  

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des Bildes



GRILLER Stefan, Univ.-Prof. Dr.

Project Lead  


PUFF Roman, Mag.

Project Administration

+43|664|88 66 32 02

+43|662|8044-74 3639

  • News
    Due to the Corona crisis teaching is taking place via e-learning –a challenge for the learning platform Blackboard. That is why it is now being technically upgraded.
    What challenges has the corona pandemic brought to journalism? Can the media transform the increased interest in what they offer into sustainable (digital) business models?
    Are you looking for an exciting and educational master's degree? Then the Centre Jewish Cultural History is the place for you! We are looking forward to presenting our master's degree course online on Monday the 8th June 2020 at 17:00.
    „UNInteressant? – "Ideas that will improve our lives": With this slogan Universities Austria (uniko) is launching an online-campaign, in which all of the 22 public universities will cooperate with the Austrian Science Fund the FWF.
    01.09.-12.09.2020, Due to the current pandemic situation the ditact_womens IT summer studies of the University of Salzburg will take place a week later than planned, from the 01.09.-12.09.2020. Most of the courses will be held online.
    The Vice Rectorate for Research, Nicola Hüsing, received five thousand face masks, which were donated by Gebrüder Woerle Ges.m.b.H. in keeping with the motto „SHARING is CARING“ . The face masks were given out to the employees of the University of Salzburg.
    Due to the current situation personal contact with the Psychological Counseling Center is not possible at the moment. We are however available by e-mail, telephone, chat or video chat. Unfortunately, our normal range of workshops cannot take place in the usual way. We would however like to offer the following webinars as an alternative.
    We are gradually learning how to adapt to the Corona outbreak, both in our everyday lives as well as at the university. For us, this means changing to online teaching for the duration of the current semester. Courses and exams held in lecture halls and seminar rooms will not be possible, with exception to some special exams. Regulations for this are currently being drawn up; exceptions are also to be made for selected laboratory exercises and practical sports courses.
    Information of 23rd April 2020: The Minister of Science’s new ruling on special regulations for study law at universities has now been announced, which gives us the opportunity to regulate some important matters. Please note that these regulations have been set for a limited time period (i.e. for this semester, but sometimes even beyond this).
    Current information on labour law at PLUS
    The most important information on the changes to research services at the University of Salzburg.
    Distance learning for exchange students and the completion of courses from overseas.
  • Veranstaltungen
  • 04.06.20 acid communism
    04.06.20 Let’s play Infokrieg. Wie die radikale Rechte (ihre) Politik gamifiziert
    10.06.20 Aufleuchten statt Ausbrennen – Hamsterrad oder Karriereleiter – so erkennt man den Unterschied
  • Alumni Club
  • Uni-Shop
  • University of Salzburg's facebook site University of Salzburg's twitter site University of Salzburg's instagram site University of Salzburg's flickr site University of Salzburg's vimeo site