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 article More on this topic

Blog Post

The next step of the Belt and Road Initiative: Multilateralisation with Chinese characteristics

The increasingly broad objective of China's Belt and Road Initiative has attracted the attention not only from the BRI members, but also from other major players such as the United States and the European Union.

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Jianwei Xu Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 18, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director's cut: EU-China partnership after the 21st EU-China summit

Guntram Wolff discusses with Alicia Garcia Herrero the results of the 21st EU-China Summit

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 12, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Frans Timmermans

The sixth 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.

Speakers: Mehreen Khan, André Sapir and Frans Timmermans Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 11, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Manfred Weber

The fifth 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.

Speakers: Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Manfred Weber and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 9, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author

Parliamentary Testimony

Promoting sustainable and inclusive growth and convergence in the European Union

This speech was delivered by Guntram Wolff at the Informal ECOFIN Meeting in Bucharest on 5 April 2019.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: April 8, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author

Working Paper

Europe in the midst of China-US strategic competition: What are the European Union's options?

With the trade conflict between the United States and China bringing China-US strategic competition into the open, the European Union faces an urgent question: how to position itself in the competition.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 8, 2019
Read article Download PDF

Policy Contribution

Promoting sustainable and inclusive growth and convergence in the European Union

This Policy Contribution was written for the Informal ECOFIN Meeting, Bucharest, 5 April 2019. The authors look at the EU’s economic agenda, discussing the priorities for the next five years.

By: Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Date: April 4, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Jan Zahradil

The fourth 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.

Speakers: Jim Brunsden, Maria Demertzis and Jan Zahradil Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 4, 2019
Read article More by this author

Opinion

Europe and the new imperialism

For decades, Europe has served as a steward of the post-war liberal order, ensuring that economic rules are enforced and that national ambitions are subordinated to shared goals within multilateral bodies. But with the United States and China increasingly mixing economics with nationalist foreign-policy agendas, Europe will have to adapt.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Global Economics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Date: April 3, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Luis Garicano

The third 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.

Speakers: Luis Garicano, Mehreen Khan and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 3, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: China's place in the global trading system

Bruegel director Guntram Wolff and senior fellow André Sapir discuss how potential WTO reform could better accommodate China.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: March 28, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Takeaways from Xi Jinping’s visit to France and Italy and ideas for the EU-China summit

The author appraises China's strategy towards Europe ahead of next month's EU-China summit.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: March 27, 2019
Load more posts