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06/04/2009 : Conference ‘Towards a European Foreign Economic Policy’

In the wake of the G-20 London summit, this conference will debate how the EU's external economic policies should be strengthened so that Europe can play a global role commensurate with its economic weight.

The conference will open with a keynote address by Commissioner Joaquín Almunia. Top-level international economists will share their views with members of the ECB and the European Commission representing different external policies, such as trade, development and environment.

You will find more details about speakers in the conference programmepdf(106 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

The European Union has become the largest economic power in the world. At the same time, and as the global financial crisis illustrates, in a context of growing economic and financial globalisation, developments in the rest of the world are becoming increasingly important for the EU’s economy and society.

Many aspects of globalisation, including migration, the increasing linkages among national financial systems, technological transfers, high international commodity prices, energy security, and climate change call for a more outward-oriented economic policy in Europe. In the financial area, the reform of the global financial architecture launched by world leaders in Washington in November 2008 recognises that in an increasingly interdependent world countries cannot ensure financial stability in isolation. Internationally coordinated approaches are needed, which underlines the importance of the external aspects of EU economic and financial policies.

In this context, foreign economic relations have become central to the activities of the EU and there have been calls for the EU to strengthen its presence in the global economic arena. However, with a few exceptions, notably in the trade policy area, the EU’s foreign economic policy does not appear sufficiently well developed and cohesive.

The aim of this seminar is to take stock of the degree of development of some of the EU’s key external economic policies, drawing in some cases a comparison with the US experience, and examine ways to strengthen them so that Europe can play a global role that reflects its economic importance. 

Date and venue

6 April 2009, Berlaymont building, Brussels, Belgium