Economic and Financial Affairs


Beyond the crisis: a changing economic landscape

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Thursday 14 May

Registration of participants
Welcome: Marco Buti, Director-General, Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission
Opening address: Joaquín Almunia, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs
Keynote address: Mario Monti, President, Bocconi University, Italy
Coffee break
11:00-12:00 Session I: Europe and the global economy: challenges, options and policies

The financial turmoil that erupted in the United States in the summer of 2007 has turned into the most far-reaching international financial and economic crisis since 1929. Nations with advanced economic and financial systems have found themselves in the eye of the storm. Fighting the global recession and its dire social consequences requires internationally coordinated action. Beyond the stabilisation of financial markets, there is an urgent need to address the underlying causes of the global crisis. While the specifics of what reforms are needed are slowly taking shape, there is a broad consensus that no fundamental, global reforms can be enacted unless they emerge from a process that is inclusive of both industrial and developing countries.

Chair: Marco Buti, Director-General, Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission

  • Jørgen Elmeskov, Acting Head of Economics Department and Chief Economist, OECD
  • Reza Moghadam, Director, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, IMF
  • Aladdin D. Rillo, Head of Finance and Macroeconomic Surveillance, ASEAN
  • André Sapir, Professor of Economics, Université Libre de Bruxelles, and Senior Fellow, Bruegel
Keynote address: Jacques de Larosière, President, High-Level Expert Group on EU Financial Supervision; Chairman, Strategic Committee of the French Treasury and Adviser, BNP Paribas
Lunch break
Keynote address: Felipe González, Chairman of the Reflection Group on the Future of Europe
14:30-17:30 Session II: Ageing and the long-term sustainability of public finances

Europeans keep getting older and at the same time fertility rates remain below the natural replacement rate. Clearly, people living longer – hopefully in good health – is a great achievement. However, without further policy changes, an ageing population will pose major economic, budgetary and social challenges. Despite encouraging progress in preparing for this challenge, there is more to be done.

Confidence in the public finances can only be restored by a clear and credible commitment to an exit strategy ensuring that EU economies are able to thrive and grow in the aftermath of today's severe financial and economic crisis. This calls for a wide, open debate on how we should organise our societies in the future to put the public finances on a sustainable path.

Chair: Christian Kastrop, Deputy Director-General, Economic Department, Ministry of Finance, Germany and President, EU Economic Policy Committee (EPC)

Presentation of the 2009 Ageing Report
  • Gert-Jan Koopman, Director, Economic Service and Structural Reforms, DG Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission
  • Henri Bogaert, Director, Belgian Federal Planning Bureau and Chairman, Working Group on Ageing (AWG), EU Economic Policy Committee (EPC)
Reactions of experts
Coffee break
Policy panel discussion: Ageing and the economic crisis

Chair: Klaus Regling, Senior Adviser, DG Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission and EU Fellow, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore

Friday 15 May

Keynote address: José Viñals, Counsellor and Director, Monetary and Capital Markets, IMF
Coffee break
10:30-12:30 Session III: Financial stability and the design of a new rule book

Insufficient regulation is generally seen as one of the main contributory factors in the current financial crisis. There thus appears to be a growing consensus on the urgent need for a substantial reform of the global financial architecture and its regulatory system, as well as a new approach to dealing with the underlying economic imbalances between countries and regions. The crisis has shown that markets alone cannot be relied on to deliver systemic economic and financial stability. Should a new balance between state and market, between the economic and the political sphere be established to provide our societies with financial stability as a global public good? How can future regulatory systems guarantee that financial markets do not simply function as an end in themselves, but better serve societies and citizens?

Chair: Alexander Italianer, Deputy Secretary-General, European Commission

Policy panel discussion
Closing keynote address:

Sir Tony Atkinson, Professor of Economics, Nuffield College, Oxford University, and Fellow of the British Academy