2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the Euro, replacing 11 national currencies. The two decades have been characterised by geographical extension to nowadays 19 countries, a modest increase in the Euro’s international role, but also by the build-up of unsustainable imbalances, and a long and deep economic and political crisis specific to many countries sharing the common currency. In response, substantial reforms have been undertaken without, though, resolving a number of key economic governance weaknesses. Since even before its birth the euro has been a subject of controversial debate amongst economists of all schools. That debate has only intensified since the crisis. Now emerging into “adulthood”, serious questions remain. Is the common currency sustainable in something like its present form? What economic policies are feasible within the current framework? What crucial reforms need to be pushed through? Can a path back to national currencies be trodden while avoiding a major crisis?
Thursday: Introductory Lectures
Marc Lavoie, University of Paris 13, France Marc Lavoie opens the introductory workshop with his lecture “History and fundamentals of Post-Keynesian Macroeconomics”. He talks about the post-Keynesian school of thought from a history of ideas perspective and gives an overview about the main features and different strands of post-Keynesian economics.
Daniela Gabor, University of the West of England, GB
In the second introductory lecture, Daniela Gabor talks about “Institutional supercycles, shadow banking and the climate crisis”. In her talk she explores the conditions under which Europe could put into practice its commitment to green the economy and become a leader in a forthcoming Green supercycle.
Steven Fazzari, Washington University in St. Louis, USA
In the final lecture of the introductory workshop, Steven Fazzari talks about “Inequality and aggregate demand”. In his lecture he assesses the question how rising inequality can explain unconventional macroeconomic outcomes through an intrinsic Keynesian theoretical lens.
After the introductory lectures, Sebastian Gechert (IMK, Macroeconomic Policy Institut), co-organizer of the event, inaugurates the main part of the conference on Thursday evening.
Each of the conference days climaxes in plenary sessions in the early evening, addressing the following themes:
• Plenum I on Thursday: In Retrospect – 20 Years Euro
• Plenum II on Friday: Macroeconomic Policies in a Monetary Union
• Plenum III on Saturday: The Euro at 30? Institutional Challenges
The sessions consist of three keynote speeches and a concluding panel discussion. Please find video recordings of the contributions below.
Thursday, Plenum I: In Retrospect – 20 Years Euro
Chair: Jan Priewe, IMK Macroeconomic Policy Institute
Paul de Grauwe: The Eurozone: Learning from our mistakes
Paul de Grauwe, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and LSE, opens the first plenum talking about the problems and challenges of the Euro and how to learn from the mistakes that were made.
Agnès Benassy-Quéré: Recovering from Maastricht
In the second talk, Agnès Benassy-Quéré, University of Paris I, speaks about the opportunity to combine stabilization and allocation policy on a European level around the common objective of the Paris agreement.
Jörg Bibow: 20 Years of Euro Dillusion
Before the first panel discussion starts, Jörg Bibow, Skidmore College, talks about the influence of German ordoliberalism and American neoliberalism on the Maastricht Treaty.
Panel Discussion I
Friday, Plenum II: Macroeconomic Policies in a Monetary Union
Chair: Torsten Niechoj, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences
Gennaro Zezza: Fiscal Policies in a Monetary Union
Gennaro Zezza, University of Cassino, opens the second plenum by talking about fiscal policy and current account imbalances in the Eurozone.
Peter Bofinger: The Monetary Policy of the ECB since 1999: Failure or Success?
Assessing the monetary policy of the ECB in the last 20 years, Peter Bofinger, University of Würzburg, delivers a rather positive summary but also points out some faults that were made during the financial crisis.
Daniela Gabor: Three blindspots in Euroarea Macrofinance
In her talk, Daniela Gabor, University of the West of England, names three blind spots of Macroeconomic Policy in the Eurozone from the perspective of shadow banking: Financial integration that promoted shadow banking, sovereign bonds as safe collateral for shadow banking, and interconnections between monetary and fiscal policy.
Panel Discussion II
Saturday, Plenum III: The Euro at 30? Institutional Challenges
Chair: Andrew Watt, IMK Macroeconomic Policy Institute
Vitor Constancio: Fiscal and financial conditions for a stronger euro area
The last plenum is opened by Vitor Constancio, former Vice president of the ECB, with a talk about reforms necessary for the future of the euro area.
Robert Skidelsky: What will it take for the Euro to survive another twenty years?
Robert Skidelsky, Jesus College, outlines what Keynes would have thought about the European Union and the Eurozone today.
Ann Pettifor: The Case for a New Green Deal for Europe
Ann Pettifor, Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME), argues that the investments necessary for the transformation away from fossil energy sources can only be undertaken by the public sector.
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