Purpose: Respective European Union member states’ interest in using spending reviews varies as there are no international mandatory regulations. The EU legislation contains general indications as to maintaining a rational fscal policy, from the provisions of the TFUE, expanded in the Pact for Stability and Growth, and elaborated in 2011.
Methodology: Adopting an interpretative research approach, this article elaborates a multiple explanatory case study design to discover how existing theories about public spending reviews are conceptualized by practitioners in their natural contexts.
Findings: The deteriorated state of many countries’ public fnances, as a result of the global fnancial crisis, has increased the interest in advanced innovative consolidation and fscal stabilization methods. Spending reviews are among the most developed and advanced methods. Such reviews were conducted both by countries that had applied this instrument before (Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, United Kingdom, Australia), and by those that introduced them for the frst time (Ireland, Canada, France). However, reviews are applied in countries characterized by signifcant economic advancement and mature public management systems.
Originality: This article analyses and draws conclusions from several selected countries’ experience to date in using spending reviews. The budget functions are compared using information from the implementation of the spending reviews. This article contributes to flling two main gaps identifed in the literature review.