October 7, 2006
While the conservatives and liberals in the Eurozone seem to continue to neglect issues of macro-economic management of the currency area (Daniela had an excellent post on this problem – let us know if we have missed something), the centre-left is busy discussing its own view in a number of conferences and working papers.
One interesting conference is coming up in Berlin on October 27 and 28, sponsored by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (which has close ties to the trade unions). Under the title “European Integration in Crisis”, a number of issues of macro-economic management will be mentioned, according to the program. While a few years back, the conferences of the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung were not always intellectually challenging, this has changed over the past years. The program and the audience provide hope that this trend will continue this year and there will be a number of highly stimulating and interesting presentations.
Personally, I look forward to Charles Goodhart’s presentation on “Currency unions: lessons from the euro-zone”. Given Prof. Goodhart’s long experience in the bank of England (he worked for the institution 17 years as a monetary policy advisor prior to 1980 and was on the monetary policy committee from 1997 to 2000) and his highly original research in monetary policy over the past years, I am really anxious to get to hear to what his assessment of current developments in the eurozone are.
In addition, together with my colleague Ulrich Fritsche (from the Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung and the Hamburg University), I will give a presentation at the conference, providing some lessons for the eurozone from regional adjustment in Germany and the United States. We are still working on some details, but I will put a synopsis online at this blog in due time. Let me tell you in advance that the results are quite interesting and Italy’s situation does not look as dire as some might think (and has been claimed in some blogs).
Besides this conference, there have been a number of papers and events lately. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (a think-tank with close ties to the conservative part of the German Social Democratic party in Germany) has been busy asking how quick the eurozone should be enlarged (criticising the recent strict application of the convergence criteria in the case of Lithuania) and how convergence of incomes in the poorer EMU members could be achieved (a conference on this topic was held in Brussels which I was originally invited to but could not go to as I fell sick).
Is it only that we receive more material from the center-left think-tanks or are the more conservative think-tanks really rather silent on the issue? (Please send us a message to info[at]euro-area.org should we have missed important publications.)