22 Jul 2022

Strengthening Europe’s ‘hidden treasures’

Mapping Europe's Sources of Competitive Advantage in Doing Business

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The Hidden Treasures Program, a joint initiative by Donald Kalff and Andrea Renda launched in the fall of 2019, aims at identifying and strengthening  Europe’s ‘hidden treasures’, competitive advantages often covered by dust that could, if adequately nurtured, help to bring the European Union back to the forefront of the global order. Its perspective is to develop a unique European way, politically, economically, and socially, creating a distinct form of capitalism that can easily compete with financial capitalism and state capitalism.

Hidden Treasures was published in 2019 at the launch of the Program. It provides an overview of  ‘hidden treasures’ and makes numerous recommendations in ten different areas of policy with the emphasis on policies to support SMEs: the legal system (contract law and access to justice), the financial sector, corporate governance, innovation, patents, competition policy, taxation, the control of corruption, trade and the single market, and digital technology rules and standards. In its conclusion the book highlights Europe’s unique balance between freedom, justice, fairness and sustainability, the cornerstones of trust, which underly most ‘hidden treasures’.

The Hidden Treasures Program, following up on the recommendations in the book, is currently involved in policy/law&economics projects relating to contracts, corporate governance, digital technology rules and standards, competition, as well as trade and investment. The Hidden Treasures Team also intends to act as an honest broker to bring parties together whose cooperation is required to take other recommendations further, and to provide advice to parties that want to adopt a recommendation. Finally, the Team highlights initiatives from politicians, policymakers, regulators and academics, who point to other ‘hidden treasures’.

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