The quarterly government debt data are conceptually consistent with the corresponding annual data compiled on a national accounts (EDP and ESA 2010) basis. For the purpose of the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) in the Economic and monetary union (EMU), as well as for the Growth and Stability Pact, the current Protocol 12, annexed to the 2012 consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, provides a complete definition of government debt: debt means total gross debt at nominal value outstanding at the end of the year and consolidated between and within the sectors of general government. This definition is supplemented by Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2009, as amended by the Commission Regulation (EU) No 220/2014 (which has only updated references to ESA 2010 instruments) specifying the components of government debt with reference to the definitions of financial liabilities in ESA 2010. The data are expressed in million units of national currency and in % of GDP. Data are non-seasonally adjusted. The differences between the annual and quarterly debt figures may arise as a result of different timetables in the transmission on revised data. Annual EDP data notified by Member States in April and October are the subject of a thorough verification by Eurostat, which can lead to a revision of past quarterly data.
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Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
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