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Over 400 people participated in the 2020 edition of ECFIN’s Annual Research Conference, a record number. This year’s conference, entitled ‘Europe’s quest for new models of sustainable growth and convergence’, was held on 13 November and took place entirely on line for the first time, due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

​Director-General Maarten Verwey opened the conference and was followed by the first session on 'the socio-economic agenda after coronavirus' with Maria Demertzis and EU Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni.

Two panel debates focused on the 'Transition challenges in going grey, green and digital' (with Angela Koeppl, Margit Schratzenstaller and Jens Suedekum) and 'United in diversity? Convergence patterns in Europe reconsidered' (with Roberto Camagni, Debora Revoltella and Robert Stehrer).

In the final session of the day, Professor Dani Rodrik of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government delivered the 'Distinguished ECFIN Lecture' on 'globalisation in the "new normal"'.

Annual Research Conference 2020 - Europe’s quest for new models of sustainable growth and convergence

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  • 13 November: 13.50 - 14.00 (Europe/Brussels)

    Participants connect

  • 13 November: 14.00 - 14.30

    Welcome by Maarten Verwey, Director General, DG ECFIN

    Introduction: The socio-economic agenda after coronavirus    

    Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni, in conversation with Maria Demertzis (Bruegel)

    Q & A with participants

  • 13 November: 14.30 - 15.15

    Transition challenges in going grey, green and digital

    The socio-economic transition challenges of going grey, green and digital will remain on top of the EU’s socio-economic political agenda in a medium-term macroeconomic environment most likely characterised by low growth, low interest rates and high public debt.

    Chair: Luc Tholoniat (DG ECFIN)

    Speakers: Angela Köppl and Margit Schratzenstaller (Austrian Institute for Economic Research), Jens Suedekum (DICE, Düsseldorf)

    Q & A with participants

  • 13 November: 15.15 - 16.00

    United in diversity? Convergence patterns in Europe reconsidered

    EU Member States and regions are embarking from different starting points and with different legacies but eventually will need to show convergence towards the common goal of inclusive productivity. Fundamental deficiencies and inconsistencies in macro-structural and institutional policies challenge balanced and sustained prosperity; and drifting too far apart can create negative spillovers putting social and political cohesion in the Union at risk.

    Chair: Istvan Szekely (DG ECFIN)

    Speakers: Prof. Roberto Camagni (Emeritus of Politecnico di Milano), Debora Revoltella (Director of the Economics Department, European Investment Bank), Robert Stehrer (WIIW, Vienna)

    Q & A with participants

  • 13 November: 16.00 - 16.45

    Distinguished ECFIN Lecture: Globalisation in  the “new normal”

    Geopolitical tensions clearly extend into the economic sphere with growing fragmentation and disintegration of global markets against a background of popular discontent with the “hyper-globalisation” of recent decades. The pandemic is acting as an accelerant; it caused a major setback to trade and disrupted the functioning of global production networks. In consequence, calls for less reliance on global markets for essential supplies, reshoring and localisation of production nearer-to-home, and taming globalisation overall, have become even louder.

    Chair: Elena Flores (DG ECFIN)

    Speaker: Dani Rodrik (Harvard Kennedy School)

    Q & A with participants

  • 13 November: 16.45 - 17.00

    Closing remarks – Elena Flores

Practical information

13 November 2020, 13.50 - 17.00 (CET)