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Many countries face enormous challenges in managing public finances at various levels of government. Trends in fiscal decentralisation has shifted the focus of public finance from the central government to other levels to respond more effectively to policy needs. These needs require sufficient budgetary powers as for example with transport infrastructure, housing and education.

International agreements bring in new responsibilities in cooperation at higher levels, as for example with climate change. Decentralization of government tasks to subnational levels is required to respond to local needs, as for example with transport infrastructure. These developments have great budgetary consequences and create new challenges in public finance management. First, understanding the limits of fiscal policy helps to create a common understanding. Second, raising budget power at different levels requires capacity building in human resources at newly developed government organisations. And third, the coordination problem between different government levels needs to be tackled.

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel offers executive formation courses for public policy officials in government agencies, international organizations and other interested agencies in Brussels. Short-term programs are designed for experienced professionals who want to improve their capacities and apply the international practices and experiences acquired during the course at their home department.