EconPol Europe’s Annual Conference 2018

International Trade and Protectionism



Logo Free State of Bavaria to the European Union

The impact of international trade and protectionism on the European economy will be examined at EconPol Europe’s annual conference on the 19 and 20 November, with a keynote speech by Jean-Luc Demarty, Director General for Trade at the European Commission.

The challenges of EU trade policy making will be the focus of day one of the conference, discussed by a policy panel including Maria Åsenius (Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Malmström), Sébastien Jean (Director of CEPII), Bernd Lange (Chair of European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade), Andrea Montanino (Chief Economist, Confindustria) and Eckart von Unger (Senior Manager, BDI).

A plenary session on new protectionism and its costs will include Simon J. Evenett (University of St. Gallen), Gabriel Felbermayr (ifo Institute), Stefano Schiavo (University of Trento) and Hylke Vandenbussche (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven).

 Day two of the conference will examine:
   • productivity growth in Europe
   • the banking union and capital markets union
   • Europe and the risk of disintegration
   • migration and the welfare state
   • convergence and divergence in the Eurozone
   • sovereign debt markets in the Eurozone.


19 – 20 November, 2018

Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union, Rue Wiertz 77, B-1000 Brussels


For further information regarding this event please contact the EconPol Europe Conference office on (+49) 89-9224-1410 or by email:



19 November 2018


Arrival, registration & coffee

12:45 – 13:15

Welcome address

Ulrike Wolf (Deputy Head, Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology)
Clemens Fuest (President, ifo Institute)

13:15 – 14:45

Panel Discussion: Challenges of EU Trade Policy Making

Chair: Sébastien Jean (Director, CEPII)

These are testing times for EU trade policy making. Even though late July joint declarations opened a period of discussions and common work with the United States, transatlantic trade relationships remain under heightened tensions. Meanwhile, the multilateral trading system is under threat, due both to the unilateral approach of the United States’ present administration and to deeper questions about the capacity of existing rules to guarantee a level playing field. How should the EU react to these challenges, with which priorities? What is the outlook for transatlantic trade relationships? How to salvage a rules-based trading system?

Maria Åsenius (Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Malmström, European Commission)
Bernd Lange (Chair of European Parliament’s Committee on Intern. Trade)
Andrea Montanino (Chief Economist, Confindustria)
Eckart von Unger (Senior Manager, BDI)

14:45 – 15:15

Coffee break

15:15 – 16:15

Keynote speech

Jean-Luc Demarty (Director-General for Trade, European Commission)

16:15 – 16:45

Coffee break

16:45– 18:15

Plenary session: New Protectionism and its Costs

Protectionism has been on the rise since the World Financial Crisis. While it was focused on behind-the-border measures or so called trade defense instruments until recently, we now witness a return of interventionist tariff policies. How strong have the impediments to international trade become? How do they impact the flow of goods and services? What are the economic costs associated to this new protectionism?

Simon J. Evenett (University of St. Gallen): New Protectionism: Forms, Scale, and Effects
Gabriel Felbermayr (ifo Institute): The US-China Trade War: Effects on Europe
Hylke Vandenbussche (KU Leuven): US-EU Trade: the Cost of non-TTIP
Stefano Schiavo (University of Trento): The Impact of Trade on European Firms and Workers

19:00 Dinner (by invitation only)

20 November 2018

09:00 – 10:30

Parallel sessions I

1A – Productivity Growth in Europe

Cecilia Jona-Lasinio (ISTAT & LUISS Guido Carli University): Digitalization, Intanglible Investment and Productivity Trends: New Policy Challenges
Klaus Weyerstrass (IHS): How to Boost Productivity in the EU
Thomas Grjebine (CEPII): Financial Booms, Sectoral Reallocation and Productivity Dynamics

1B – Banking Union & Capital Markets Union

Martin Spolc (European Commission): The European Commission’s Policies to Build the Capital Markets Union and Promote Sustainable Finance
Thomas Davoine (IHS): Long Run Consequences of a Capital Market Union in the EU
Alexander Guembel (TSE): A Welfare Analysis of Segmented Liquidity Markets
Tobias Schuler (ifo Institute): European Financial Integration through Securitization

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30

Parallel sessions II

2A – Europe and the Risk of Desintegration

Giuseppe Bertola (University of Turin): Highlights from the European Economic Advisory Group’s Report on the European Economic 2019
Clemens Fuest (ifo Institute): The EU in the Global Economy: Competing with China and Others

2B – Migration and the Welfare State

Giovanni Facchini (University of Nottingham): Economic and Political Integration of Migrants
Ilpo Kauppinen (VATT): Emigration from a Welfare State
Panu Poutvaara (ifo Institute): Welfare Effects of Immigration

12:30 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:30

Parallel Sessions III

3A – Convergence/Divergence in the Eurozone

Kerstin Jorna (European Commission): The European Commission’s Proposal for a Reform Support Programme
Mathias Dolls (ifo Institute): Incentivizing Structural Reforms
Cinzia Alcidi (CEPS): How to Square Cross-country Convergence and Regional Divergence in the Eurozone
Harald Benink (Tilburg University): Changing the Political Dynamics in Europe

3B – Sovereign Debt Markets in the Eurozone

Rolf Strauch (European Stability Mechanism): Managing Debt Sustainability and Safe Assets in the Eurozone
Christophe Destais (CEPII): The Promises and Challenges of ‘Self Restructuring’ GDP-linked Bonds
Friedrich Heinemann (ZEW): The Political Economy of Euro Area Sovereign Debt Restructuring
Jemima Peppel-Srebrny (University of Oxford): Government Borrowing Cost and Budget Deficits: Is Investment Spending Different?

15:30 – 16:00

Closing remarks

Clemens Fuest (President, ifo Institute)



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