The Maastricht debt is defined as the total consolidated gross debt at face value in the following categories of government liabilities (defined in ESA 2010): currency and deposits, debt securities and loans. The reference values for debt are based on concepts defined in the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010).
Maastricht debt, or notified government debt, covers all general government as defined in the national accounts: the government, central agencies (ODACs), local government and social security funds.
Maastricht debt definition does not include all financial liabilities. The following formula is used to summarize the liabilities taken into account: Maastricht debt = liability F.2 (cash and deposits) + liability F.3 (debt securities) + liability F.4 (loans). This excludes financial derivatives, accrued interest and other accounts payable.
It is gross debt in the sense that government financial assets are not subtracted from liabilities.
It is consolidated: the debt calculation therefore excludes the debt items of one administration held by another administration. For example, this is the case of government deposits held by the Treasury.
Maastricht debt is valued at nominal value, i.e. at the face value of the principal. Thus, accrued interest or fluctuations in the price of securities are not included in the valuation of instruments, while the revaluation of the redemption value of price-indexed bonds (OATi, BTANi and CADESi) is taken into account.
Maastricht debt is defined by the article 126 of Maastricht treaty, supplemented by Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2009 and by the Protocol on the excessive deficit procedure annexed to the consolidated version of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union.
The Maastricht treaty, which entered into force on 1 November 1993, defined five convergence criteria that Member States must fulfil to move to the single currency, the euro. Two criteria relate to the control of public deficits: the public finance deficit must not exceed 3% of GDP for all General government and public debt must be limited to no more than 60% of GDP.
Annual government debt is notified to the European Commission twice a year, at the end of March and end of September. Quarterly debt is sent to Eurostat 90 days after the end of the quarter.