EconPol conference on the future of the EMU

CEPS is one of the founding members of the recently launched research network EconPol, which brings together think tanks and research institutes from across the European Union. The first EconPol conference was held in Brussels on November 9-10th, and discussed The Euro – Which Way to Go? with around 180 high-level policymakers, researchers and other experts.

Establishing the optimal path towards a sustainable, resilient and prospering eurozone is a challenging and complex task. Several breakout sessions zoomed in on the most important pillars of reform for the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), ranging from risk-sharing mechanisms to corporate tax policies and citizens’ perceptions of the benefits of eurozone membership. The completion of the Banking Union and Capital Markets Union were widely acknowledged as desirable features of the EMU. Strengthening the ‘economic’ part in Economic and Monetary Union also resonated well, although views on how to attain this goal varied. Governor Villeroy de Galhau of the Bank of France emphasised that any reform needed to have tangible effects for citizens and that creating the position of an EU Finance Minister, for example, would bring very little in itself if the title did not come with corresponding responsibilities.

The conference succeeded in offering many thought-provoking presentations and in creating an open forum for debate. Of course, not all opposing views could be reconciled but common ground was found on many issues. Now it is time to give further impetus to the next necessary steps towards a resilient and prosperous eurozone.