The European economy is greatly affected by the fall-out of the disorderly unwinding of the global financial crisis. Coping with these unexpected shocks comes on top of other well-known challenges, such as accelerating globalisation, the need to decarbonise our economies and to make our energy systems more sustainable, and the demographic challenge. This all calls for an ever faster pace of structural adjustment while at the same time avoiding a long-lasting recession and social hardship. But it also provides an opportunity to position the European economy as a front-runner to meet these challenges. The conference has brought together European and international policy makers, businessmen and economists, including Nobel Price Laureate Prof. Paul Krugman, to discuss ways ahead for policy-markers and businesses to set the framework conditions for success in the next decade. The conference underlined the need for policy-makers and business to react quickly to successfully face the crisis. As also pointed out by the European Economic Recovery Plan, the immediate policy actions within a short-term framework should be timely, targeted, temporary, and coordinated in order to be most effective. The actions with a medium to longer term orientation should be guided by considerations on how to sustain and eventually increase the competitiveness of the European economies.