Geoeconomics – New Challenges for Europe

EconPol Europe Annual Conference 2023


Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU, Rue Wiertz 77, Brussels

Geopolitics in Europe long used to be a non-economic affair. Now, unhealthy dependencies for energy supplies and other key inputs for Europe’s economy on political decisions of other states, in addition to the looming climate crisis and sustainability concerns, have added a massive economic dimension to it—and making the geographic component of economics a key consideration for politics. What happens above and below ground, as well as across borders far and wide, will have a major impact on the European economies for decades to come.
So… Welcome to Geoeconomics.

The recent shocks of the covid pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have forced Europe out of its cocooned naïveté and into a major rethink of its economic model and its political assumptions. The spikes in energy prices and the rapid deployment of transformational technologies threatens some of Europe’s key industrial mainstays and is exerting increasing pressure on society, governments, and labour markets to adapt at a pace seldom seen before.

These challenges pose thorny questions: How can Europe’s economy remain competitive? How can energy security be balanced with decarbonisation? How can Europe secure the supply of resources and inputs needed for its industry and the digital and green transformation? How to deal with China, which is a geopolitical rival, a competitor for resources and a partner in business? How to improve economic resilience, avoid dangerous dependencies, and safeguard competitiveness, technological leadership, and rules-based trade?

The 2023 Annual EconPol Europe Conference addressed these and many other challenges, drawing lessons from the responses to the recent and ongoing crises, and examining the implications for fiscal and economic policy with a top lineup of EU officials and cutting-edge researchers.



10 a.m. Registration

10.15 a.m. Welcome address

  • Michael Hinterdobler, Director – Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union
  • Clemens Fuest, President – ifo Institute & CESifo, EconPol Europe

10.30 a.m. Keynote Speech: Trade Policy in an Era of Geoeconomic Challenges

  • Denis Redonnet, Deputy Director General – DG Trade, EU Commission

11:15 a.m. Break

11.30 a.m. Panel 1: Technology Transition, Geoeconomic Challenges, and the Future of the EU Trade Policy

  • Lisandra Flach, Director ifo Center for International Economics – ifo Institute/EconPol & University of Munich
  • Chad Bown, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington DC
  • Denis Redonnet, Deputy Director-General, Chief Trade Enforcement Officer – DG Trade, EU Commission
  • Luisa Santos, Deputy Director-General – Business Europe

Moderation: Carolin Roth

1:00 p.m. Lunch Break

2.00 p.m. Panel 2: Lessons Learned from the EU Energy Crisis

  • Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General – DG Energy, EU Commission
  • Gabrielle Gauthey, Senior Vice President for European Public Affairs – Total Energies
  • Veronika Grimm, Professor of Economics, Head of Research Energy Market Design – University of Erlangen/Nuremberg & German Council of Economic Experts
  • Hanns Koenig, Managing Director Central Europe – Aurora Energy Research

Moderation: Carolin Roth

3.30 p.m. Concluding Remarks and Farewell

  • Florian Dorn, Director – EconPol Europe