Programme

 

OECD-IMF Conference on structural reform in Europe

17 March 2008, OECD Conference Centre, 2 rue André Pascal, 75016 Paris

9:30-10:10

Keynote addresses by Angel Gurría (Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and Dominique Strauss-Kahn (Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund)

Keynote address by Angel Gurría
Keynote address by Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Moderator: Françoise Crouïgneau (Chief International Editor, Les Echos)

PART 1: STRUCTURAL REFORM IN EUROPE

10:10 – 10:30 

Introduction: Economic Policy Reforms for Growth and Employment
by Jørgen Elmeskov (OECD acting Chief Economist).

10:30 – 11:30

Labour and Product Markets: Agenda for Reform

Policy makers have increasingly recognised the importance of structural reform for boosting employment and productivity and raising economic performance more generally. Despite progress, much remains to be done. The session takes stock of what has been achieved and identifies priorities for further reform.

  • Moderator: John Thornhill (Editor, European edition, Financial Times)
  • Panel Speakers:
    Sven Otto Littorin (Minister for Employment, Sweden)
    Hans Vijlbrief (Director-General, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Netherlands)
    Jean-Christophe Le Duigou (Confederation Secretary, Confédération générale du travail)
    Ottheinrich von Weitershausen  (Director, Federal Association of German Employers, Germany)

 

11:30-11:50

Coffee Break

 

11:50-12:50

The Record of Reform: Successes and Failures

Progress in structural reform in Europe is uneven, and so is its impact on economic performance. What were the decisive factors that fostered reform initiatives and made them a success?  Why were reforms sometimes not introduced despite clear needs or turned out to be failures?

  • Moderator: Frédéric Lemaître (Columnist, Le Monde)
  • Panel Speakers:
    Leszek Balcerowicz (Former Minister of Finance, Poland)
    Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (Member of European Parliament; Former Prime Minister, Denmark)
    Ernest-Antoine Seillière (President, Businesseurope)
    John Monks (European Trade Union Confederation) 

 

12:50-14:20 

Lunch

PART 2: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF REFORM

14:20-14:40

Introduction: The Political Economy of Reform in Europe
Michael Deppler (European Department Director, IMF)

14:40-15:40

European Institutions and Reform

European institutions include a common monetary policy among EMU countries, restrictions on national fiscal policies, common policies among EU countries in a number of fields as well as a number of mechanisms and processes for co-ordinating structural reform.  At the same time, there are views that institutional competition may be a spur to reform which can also be facilitated by macroeconomic accommodation.

  • Moderator: Jean-Marc Vittori (Columnist, Les Echos)
  • Panel Speakers:
    Agnès Bénassy-Quéré (Director, Centre d’études prospectives et d’informations internationales)
    Frits Bolkestein (Former European Union Commissioner)
    Jürgen Stark (Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank)
    Marco Buti (Deputy Director General, European Commission) 

15:40-16:00 

Coffee Break

16:00-17:00

Achieving Reform through better Design

Due to various interdependencies the coherence and sequencing of reform initiatives can have a substantial impact on reform acceptance and policy outcomes. Equity considerations, in particular, can also affect reform prospects as can resistance by groups benefiting from existing policies and having invested in the expectation of their continuation. What are the major features of effective policy design that should be taken into consideration?

  • Moderator: Hamish McRae (Columnist, The Independent)
  • Panel Speakers:
    Svend Auken (Former Minister of Employment, Denmark)
    Mikuláš Dzurinda (Former Prime Minister, Slovak Republic)
    John Evans (Secretary General, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD)
    Dennis Snower (President, Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

PART 3: WRAP-UP SESSION

 

 

17:00-18:00

 

 

Moving ahead on structural reform in Europe

 

  • Moderator: Thomas Hanke (Columnist, Handelsblatt)
  • Panel Speakers:
    Jean Pisani-Ferry (Professor, Bruegel, Belgium)
    Adam Posen (Deputy Director, Peterson Institute for International Economics, USA)
    Aart de Geus (Deputy Secretary General of the OECD)
    Michael Deppler (European Department Director, IMF)

 

18:00    END OF CONFERENCE

 

NB: All speakers on the programme to date have confirmed their participation.

 

Related Documents

 

Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2008

Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2007

Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2006

Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2005