German Finance Minister delivers first Annual Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa Lecture at the Brussels Economic Forum.
The 2011 Brussels Economic Forum marked the passing of one of Europe's most distinguished economists. Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, one of the founding fathers of EMU and the euro, died in December 2010, still at the height of his intellectual powers and still fully engaged in promoting European economic integration.
Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa was Director-General of DG ECFIN (then DG II) from 1979-83. In an illustrious career, he went on to hold high office at the Bank of Italy, the ECB, and the Italian government, amongst others. He was a great European, visionary policy-maker and brilliant academic.
Mr Padoa-Schioppa was an early proponent of the euro. He showed the inconsistency of simultaneously striving for free trade, capital mobility, independent monetary policies and fixed exchange rates. He proposed that independent monetary policies be abandoned, and that a single currency and a European central bank be created, so that the other objectives could be attained. The Delors Committee, for which Mr Padoa-Schioppa was rapporteur, endorsed this view and paved the way for the euro. The rest is European economic history.
To pay tribute to Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, the Commission (DG ECFIN) has established an annual lecture in his honour. This is intended as a platform for a distinguished policy-maker to discuss economic and monetary integration and its challenges. The first lecture was given at this year's Brussels Economic Forum by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, and was introduced by a short video tribute to Mr Padoa-Schioppa produced by DG ECFIN.
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