European Challenges in the New Decade

EU Discussions with WIFO Economist Margit Schratzenstaller in Brussels and Vienna
At the "Annual Research Conference" of the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission in the Charlemagne Building in Brussels and in the House of the European Union in Vienna, WIFO economist Margit Schratzenstaller discussed the economic, social and environmental challenges of the coming decade at the start of the new European Commission.

At the annual research conference of the EU Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs on 15 November 2019, Margit Schratzenstaller underlined the cornerstones of a sustainable fiscal policy. This could play a key role in tackling key challenges such as social inequality, migration movements and climate change. Among the numerous outstanding speakers at the conference were Paul Collier (University of Oxford), EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, Thomas Philippon (NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business), Olivier Blanchard (Peterson Institute for International Economics), Laurence Boone (OECD), Philip R. Lane (ECB) and Beatrice Weder di Mauro (Centre for Economic Policy Research).

Videos, presentations and further information on the "Annual Research Conference 2019" can be found here.

On 27 November 2019, the new European Commission, for the first time under the leadership of a woman, was confirmed by the European Parliament. The Europa Club Vienna of the Austrian Society for European Politics) broadcast Ursula von der Leyens inaugural speech and part of the subsequent debate live from the European Parliament. Afterwards Margit Schratzenstaller discussed under the direction of "Puls 4"-Info-Chefin Corinna Milborn with Sonja Puntscher Riekmann (Salzburg Centre for European Union Studies), Katharina Rogenhofer (Verein Klimavolksbegehren), Martin Selmayr (European Commission in Austria), Hans Dietmar Schweisgut (The Austrian-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe).

Margit Schratzenstaller pointed out in the discussion that some of the major issues of the previous EU Commissions, such as the euro crisis, had been "acutely resolved", but that there were still "many challenges" at EU level, over and above the focus on climate change and digitisation, which von der Leyen emphasised in her inaugural speech. In the future, for example, it will be a central question of how climate protection can be made "socially compatible".

Further information on the discussion in the House of the European Union in Vienna can be found here.

Since 2019, the Thematic Platform "European Challenges" brings together the findings from past and current research by WIFO on key challenges at the European level. The aim of these studies is to understand the effects and interactions of European integration on the economy, the public sector and society in the EU member countries. This allows drawing conclusions for European and Austrian policy initiatives and thus present recommendations to overcoming economic challenges.

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