Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Bas Eickhout

The second event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Date: April 2, 2019, 12:30 pm Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

video & audio recordings

summary

For the second event of the Spitzenkandidaten series co-hosted by Bruegel and the Financial Times, Bas Eickhout, a Dutch MEP and candidate of the European Green Party, was the featured candidate. The interviewers for the event were Guntram Wolff, the director of Bruegel, and Rochelle Toplensky, an EU correspondent from the Financial Times.

The first part of the discussion centered around the EU Growth Agenda and how the EU can promote sustainable growth. Eickhout explained that he is committed to creating socially just and environmentally friendly growth in Europe. He gave a detailed analysis of the current energy situation in the EU, demonstrating that the 100 million euros worth of fossil fuels that the EU imports each day is not sustainable. He wants to support innovation in green technologies that will lead to increased investment and economic growth that is sustainable. He also seeks to create a more socially just European tax system and to reform the tax system such that tax evasion is decreased and those who are rich are not able to benefit at the expense of those who are poor. He states that because the current tax system in the EU requires unanimity in voting, there is a lack of harmonization in member states taxation rates. As a result there is a race to the bottom between member states in tax levels, and he hopes to change this as commission president.

The next part of the discussion focused on international trade policies. Here, Eickhout continued his talk of a “race to the bottom” explaining that many trade laws do not sufficiently uphold environmental laws. He believes that all trade deals should include the sustainable development goals and that trade policy should be amended such that the EU inspires other countries to embrace the Paris Agreement. He states that he would refuse to negotiate with any country (including the United States) that refuses to adopt the Paris Climate Accords. The EU, he believes, has much more bargaining power than it gives itself credit for, and it needs to be willing to face a small economic losses in the short-term to promote a better world and a more sustainable future in the long-term.

On eurozone reform and EU convergence policy, Eickhout laid out a plan to decrease inequality between EU regions. He wants the commission to promote an investment agenda that prioritizes investment in the regions that are lagging in economic growth. He felt that the Juncker investment plan should have done something like this, but that it did not. Additionally, he is in favor of taking measures to increase solidarity within the eurozone, and one means to do this would be the creation of eurobonds. He advocates for creating eurobonds at 60% because this will incentivize member countries to decrease their debt levels before joining. By taking steps like this, he believes that the eurozone can eventually become a complete transfer union.

The last topic that was discussed was industrial and competition policy. Much of the discussion centered around the recent Franco-German push for industrial “champions” that will be able to compete globally against the United States and China. Eickhaut said it is important that member states do not go against the EU competition laws or feel that they can override EU laws. With that said, he does in some cases support the creation of european champions. He believes that the EU needs a little more flexibility in its competition laws in order to keep up with the US and China.

In sum, Eickhout offered some very unique perspectives on sustainability in Europe and engaged in a very lively and thought-provoking discussion with the interviewers.

Notes by Davis Cousar


This event is a part of a series of talks and debates with Europe’s Spitzenkandidaten and political leaders. Journalists from the FT, along with Bruegel’s Director or a Senior Fellow, will explore and challenge the main political parties’ policies for the future of the continent in front of an invited audience. The events will be livestreamed on the Bruegel website. For more events, see here.

Schedule

Apr 2, 2019

12:30-13:00

Check-in and lunch

13:00-14:15

Conversation

Bas Eickhout, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and lead candidate for the European Green Party

Rochelle Toplensky, EU Correspondent, Financial Times

Guntram B. Wolff, Director

14:15-14:30

Q&A

14:30

End

Speakers

Bas Eickhout

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and lead candidate for the European Green Party

Guntram B. Wolff

Director

Rochelle Toplensky

EU Correspondent, Financial Times

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Matilda Sevon

matilda.sevon@bruegel.org

Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

What reforms for Europe's Monetary Union: a view from Spain

How is a successful European Monetary Union still possible in today's ever-shifting political landscape? What reforms need to occur in order to guarantee success of cohesive policies?

Speakers: Fernando Fernández, José Carlos García de Quevedo, Gabriele Giudice, Inês Goncalves Raposo, Javier Méndez Llera and Isabel Riaño Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 19, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Upcoming Event

Jun
25
08:30

How comprehensive is the EU political realignment?

Has the left-right divide become obsolete in EU politics?

Speakers: David Amiel, Otilia Dhand, Nicolas Véron and Silke Wettach Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Role of national structural reforms in enhancing resilience in the Euro Area

At this event Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist at the IMF will discuss the role of national structural reforms in enhancing resilience in the Euro Area.

Speakers: Shekhar Aiyar, Maria Demertzis, Romain Duval, Gita Gopinath and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 17, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Policy Brief

A strategic agenda for the new EU leadership

Memo to the presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. 'A strategic agenda for the new EU leadership' by Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram Wolff is the first of our 2019 Bruegel memos to the new presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. Focusing on the most important economic questions at EU level, these Bruegel memos are intended to be a strategic to-do list, outlining the state of affairs that will greet the new Commission.

By: Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 13, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Past, present, and future EU trade policy: a conversation with Commissioner Malmström

What was trade policy during the last European Commission? What will be the future of European trade under the next Commission?

Speakers: Cecilia Malmström, André Sapir and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 13, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Working Paper

China and the world trade organisation: towards a better fit

China’s participation in the WTO has been anything but smooth, as its self-proclaimed socialist market economy system has alienated its trading partners. The WTO needs to translate some of its implicit legal understanding into explicit treaty language, in order to retain its principles while accommodating China.

By: Petros C. Mavroidis and André Sapir Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: June 13, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Upcoming Event

Jul
12
09:30

The 4th industrial revolution: opportunities and challenges for Europe and China

What is the current status of EU-China relations concerning innovation, and what might their future look like?

Speakers: Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Chen Dongxiao, Eric Cornuel, Ding Yuan, Jiang Jianqing, Pascal Lamy, Li Mingjun, Signe Ratso, Reinhilde Veugelers, Wang Hongjian, Guntram B. Wolff and Xu Bin Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

External Publication

Effectiveness of cohesion policy: learning from the project characteristics that produce the best results

This study by Zsolt Darvas, Antoine Mathieu Collin, Jan Mazza, and Catarina Midões analyses the characteristics of cohesion policy projects that can contribute to successful outcomes. Their analysis is based on a literature survey, an econometric analysis and interviews with stakeholders. About two dozen project characteristics are considered, and their association with economic growth is studied using a novel methodology. Based on the findings, the study concludes with recommendations for cohesion policy reform.

By: Zsolt Darvas, Antoine Mathieu Collin, Jan Mazza and Catarina Midoes Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 11, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

EU-LAC Economic Forum 2019: New perspectives in turbulent times

The third edition of the EU-LAC Economic Forum.

Speakers: Diego Acosta Arcarazo, Ignacio Corlazzoli, Maria Demertzis, Mauricio Escanero Figueroa, Alicia García-Herrero, Carmen González Enríquez, Bert Hoffmann, Edita Hrdá, Matthias Jorgensen, Juan Jung, Tobias Lenz, Carlos Malamud, J. Scott Marcus, Elena Pisonero, Belén Romana and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 11, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

The 'seven' ceiling: China's yuan in trade talks

Investors and the public have been looking at the renminbi with caution after the Trump administration threatened to increase duties on countries that intervene in the markets to devalue/undervalue their currency relative to the dollar. The fear is that China could weaponise its currency following the further increase in tariffs imposed by the United States in early May. What is the likelihood of this happening and what would be the consequences for the existing tensions with the United States, as well as for the global economy?

By: Inês Goncalves Raposo Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: June 3, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

European Parliament election results: The long view

Following the latest European elections, the author updates his previous analysis of trends in the share of European Parliament seats among ‘mainstream’ and ‘non-mainstream’ parties.

By: Nicolas Véron Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 29, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: Reflections on the European elections

Bruegel director Guntram Wolff hosts Ferdinando Giugliano, columnist for Bloomberg and La Repubblica, and Krzysztof Blusz, political analyst and senior fellow at WiseEuropa – Centre for European Strategy, for a discussion about the results of the European elections, both across Europe and within the states of Italy and Poland.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 29, 2019
Load more posts