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Event Review: Economic Convergence or Divergence in the EU?

09 October 2018


Conference Room

1, Place du Congrès

1000 Brussels


Conference Programme (pdf)

8th annual Intereconomics / CEPS Conference: Economic Convergence or Divergence in the EU?

How do we spot the trends in convergence and how can they help us to understand and stimulate the process? What roles do education, structural funds and regional factors play in this process? What policy measures can the EU use to foster economic convergence and deter divergence in the coming decade? Representatives from the EU institutions, academic researchers, economists and other experts consider these questions and offer their insight. Join us and share your views on these important questions.

Studies and conclusions are available in the Intereconomics issue No.1 of 2019.

Session 1

Trends of Economic Convergence

Moderator: Jiffer Bourguignon, Intereconomics

Cinzia Alcidi, CEPS: Convergence in the EU

Barry Eichengreen, University of California, Berkeley: Convergence and Divergence in the Euro Area

Michael Burda, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin: Convergence of German Bundesländer – Lessons for the EU

Session 2

Drivers of Convergence/Divergence in the EU

Moderator: Cinzia Alcidi, CEPS

Mathias Dolls, CESifo: Incentivising Structural Reforms

Christian Bodewig, World Bank: Upgrading Europe’s Convergence Machine

László Andor, Corvinus University of Budapest: Cohesion, Convergence and the EU Financial Toolbox

Session 3

What can the EU do?

Moderator: Brigitte Preissl, Intereconomics

Ioana Rus, European Commission: Structural Funds

Dario Guarascio, INAPP: Can (Current) Europe Do Something? The Interweaving of External Constraints and Domestic Entropy

Jorge Núñez Ferrer, CEPS: The Impact of Structural Funds on Convergence

Roundtable Debate

How much Divergence can the EU take?

Moderator: Alan Beattie, Financial Times

Maria João Rodrigues, MEP

Daniel Gros, Director, CEPS

Barry Eichengreen, University of California, Berkeley

Charles Wyplosz, The Graduate Institute, Geneva