Saturday 16 May, 11.45am until 12.45pm, Churchill Room The Battle for the Economy
How is the recession affecting Europe? Even Germany, the powerhouse of Europe, saw its GDP fall 2.1% in the last quarter of 2008, worse than the Euro-wide figure of 1.5%, and unemployment rise for the first time in three years. Despite being the world’s biggest exporter, with a current account surplus second only to China, and no housing bubble to pop, ‘prudent’ Germany is suffering along with the ‘reckless’ US and UK. So how will the EU and its member states deal with the crisis, and what effect has the expansion of Europe to the East had?
The prospects for central and eastern Europe look particularly grave, with currencies under threat, bad debts multiplying, and GDP plunging 2.5 per cent this year, despite a 4.25 per cent growth forecast last autumn. The IMF has suggested crisis-hit states consider scrapping their currencies in favour of the Euro, even without formally joining the Eurozone, warning that a rapid switch from credit-fuelled growth to credit-starved recession is creating huge pressures. The IMF, World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have tried to persuade the EU and eastern European states to back a region-wide anti-crisis strategy, including a regional rescue fund, but there is widespread opposition. The World Bank has urged the EU’s Western states not to shut their ex-communist neighbours out of their markets, saying ‘it could set back two decades of economic progress’. But rumours that French President Nicolas Sarkozy allegedly banned French automakers producing cars in the Czech Republic, highlight tensions between the older and newer EU members.
Is there a fault line through Europe? Who should bail out failing economies such as those of Latvia and Finland? Do the Euro and the EU help or hinder a collective European response to the crisis?
Listen to the session audio…
Other formats are available here
Brussels correspondent, Daily Telegraph; co-author, No Means No
economics editor, NovoArgumente; consultant (logistics, production and organisation), German automotive industry
adviser to Taube Hodson Stonex Partners; business campaigner for Britain to join the Euro.
professor of Human Resources Management, Middlesex University; member, European Economists for an Alternative Economic Policy in Europe; author, European Monetary Union: Problems of Legitimacy, Development and Stability
head of external relations, Institute of Ideas; chair, IoI Economy Forum; convenor, The Academy
European Union diplomats currently describe Ukraine as the biggest foreign policyBruno Waterfield, Telegraph, 7 May 2009
If a financial emergency required immediate action, could Europe cope? That is the big question for the world economyAnatole Kaletsky, The Times, 9 April 2009
The wrong side of history is a hugely dangerous place to be stuck. Yet, increasingly, it is in just this perilous location that the eurozone's governments seem intent on entrenching themselves, digging in against American and British pressure for further action to combat the global slump.Gary Duncan, The Times, 24 March 2009
European governments are taking over ever-larger parts of the economy. A survey of the debate in GermanyEconomist, 12 March 2009
Just as it was necessary to think beyond national protectionism in the 1930s, perhaps it is time to start thinking about life beyond the EU. It could be that this crisis demands it.Bruno Waterfield, Telegraph, 18 February 2009
Germany's prudence - remember its finance minister's jibes about Gordon Brown'sNils Pratley, Guardian, 7 February 2009
The new member-states have no time for procrastination or recrimination. Faced with the near-term challenges of ageing populations, fierce global competition and tougher green targets, they need to improve, not discard, their economic model of liberalisation and integration. But they will need the EU’s help.Katinka Barysch, Centre for European Reform, February 2009
Über den Mythos des Neoliberalismus und die Entpolitisierung des KapitalismusAlexander Horn, Novo, 1 February 2009
The financial crisis has kick-started a new phase of political and economic integration that the UK cannot afford to resistJohn Stevens, Guardian, 14 October 2008
"In a world which is becoming increasingly hostile to non-conformist positions the Battle of Ideas remains the flagship of free thinking."
John Cooper, leading barrister and writer