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.

Date: April 3, 2019, 12:30 pm Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

video & audio recordings

summary

In the third event of the Spitzenkandidaten series co-hosted by Bruegel and the Financial Times, Luis Garicano discussed his platform as the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) candidate for the European Commission President. The interviewers for the event were Bruegel Director, Guntram Wolff and Financial Times Brussels Correspondent, Mehreen Khan.

Garicano began by discussing his general vision for the European economy that he would like to promote as the president of the commission. He explained that the current liberal system based on open markets and free trade is currently under attack from foreign powers and from domestic populists. His goal is to promote the liberal system and to qualm the anxieties and fears that lead to populism by working to create an economy that works for all Europeans, even those who are typically “left behind”in the labor market. He also expressed the importance of European growth in the digital sector and helping European workers develop skills in these areas.

Next, the discussion turned to trade policy. As the commission president, Garicano explained that he would be an adamant supporter of the rules-based multilateral trading system. However, he also expressed a bit of concern about China. He explained that the West made a “Fukuyama Fault” by making the assumption that China would eventually liberalize politically when they were accepted into the GATT and WTO after liberalizing economically. He believes that China’s failure to protect human rights, workers rights, and intellectual property rights should not be permitted. Yet, he does not agree with the US approach to dealing with these issues through the application of bilateral tariffs. Rather, he is of the opinion that Chinese violations of WTO standards should be addressed legally through a rules-based multilateral system. He explained that even though the EU may be gaining benefits through Chinese trade at the moment, it is important to take a long-term view, stating “if we continue to ride the Chinese tiger, we will eventually be eaten.”

On the topic of eurozone reform, Garicano was not afraid to voice criticisms of the current EU policies toward economic convergence and fiscal harmonization. He is of the opinion that the inequalities between regions in the EU is not acceptable and serves to feed the fire of populism. He emphasized that the EU needs to focus more on creating strong institutions in struggling regions because this will lead to the innovation and investment needed for better economic growth rates. He also advocated for the EU to eventually adopt a eurobond in order to increase the power and safety of the euro for investors. To conclude this section of the debate, he criticized the current stability and growth pact mechanism for fiscal harmonization. He explained that, under the current system, there is a failure of communication with member states that serves to breed populism. When Italy is told that they cannot raise pensions because “Moscovici said so,” a lack of trust develops between the EU and the states susceptible to populism. He thinks the EU needs to create a more democratic system for fiscal harmonization while maintaining the technocratic aspects of the current system.

Lastly, Garicano discussed industrial and competition policy. He stated that the biggest success of the EU is its competition policy because it allows for equity and a healthy relationship between government and business. He explained that even in the face of enhanced competition in digital platforms from China and the US, the EU should not try to create “champions” but should rather focus on maintaining a strict competition policy and regulating digital superpowers in such a manner that data is shared and the “winner take all” tendency in digital business in mitigated. Additionally, he advocated for increased research and development funding and the maintenance of ethical standards in AI production.

Overall, Garicano’s platform was quite interesting and offers an interesting perspective on how to qualm the tide of populism that he fears will continue to rise in Europe if not addressed soon.

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 a Bruegel Director or a senior scholar, 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 3, 2019

12:30-13:00

Check-in and lunch

13:00-14:15

Conversation

Luis Garicano, Vice-President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

Mehreen Khan, Brussels correspondent, Financial Times

Guntram B. Wolff, Director

14:15-14:30

Q&A

14:30

End

Speakers

Luis Garicano

Vice-President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

Mehreen Khan

Brussels correspondent, Financial Times

Guntram B. Wolff

Director

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Matilda Sevon

matilda.sevon@bruegel.org

Read about event

Upcoming Event

Sep
9
08:30

China-EU investment relations: Exploring competition and industrial policies

This is a closed-door workshop jointly organised by MERICS and Bruegel looking at China-EU investment relations.

Speakers: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read article More by this author

Opinion

The Coming Clash Between Climate and Trade

The new leaders of the European Union, who have relentlessly championed open markets, will, ironically, likely trigger a conflict between climate preservation and free trade. But this clash is unavoidable, and how Europe and the world manage it will help to determine the fate of globalisation, if not that of the climate.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Energy & Climate, Global Economics & Governance Date: August 1, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

External Publication

La Banca centrale europea

This external publication delves into the new responsibility given to the European Central Bank: supervision on banks in the euro-area. It tells its history and illustrates its functions, structure and responsibilities and the exceptional answers to respond to the "perfect storm" of the crisis.

By: Francesco Papadia Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 31, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

European champion-ships: industrial champions and competition policy

This blog post investigates the debate on whether European competition rules should foster European industrial champions, or allow national champions to grow to a European scale. It explores the criteria that one would intuitively ascribe to industrial champions, illustrating the difficulties in defining either ‘European’ or ‘Champion’. It then conducts a brief look into whether EU Merger decisions have impeded the formation of ‘European Champions’.

By: Mathew Heim and Catarina Midoes Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: July 26, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

A reflection on the Mercosur agreement

The EU accepts the deal because it is worried about the catastrophic scenario of a world without the WTO.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: July 26, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

The consequences of Switzerland’s lost equivalence status

Due to a spat between the European Commission and the government of Switzerland over the negotiation of an institutional framework agreement, equity securities that are listed on Swiss exchanges are banned from being traded on stock exchanges in the European Union. This blog post reviews the background of this incident and assesses the consequences for companies listed in Switzerland as well as EU investors investing in Swiss equity securities.

By: Michael Baltensperger Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 25, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Modernising European Competition Policy: A Brief Review of Member States’ Proposals

French, German and Polish governments have jointly proposed options for modernising EU competition policy. The debate to recalibrate European competition rules was already well underway. So, it is not surprising that proposals are consistent with other statements made by France and Germany. Yet, proposals do not address current issues weighing on the international competition community, such as conglomerate effects theory or algorithmic collusion.

By: Mathew Heim Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: July 24, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Talking about Europe: Die Zeit and Der Spiegel 1940s-2010s

An on-going research project is seeking to quantify and analyse printed media discourses about Europe over the decades since the end of the Second World War. A first snapshot screened more than 2.8 million articles in Le Monde between 1944 and 2018. In this second instalment we carry out an analogous exercise on a dataset of more the 500 thousand articles from two German weekly magazines: Die Zeit and Der Spiegel. We also report on the on-going work to refine the quantitative methodology.

By: Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Francesco Papadia and Giuseppe Porcaro Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 18, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

How should the relationship between competition policy and industrial policy evolve in the European Union?

Competition policy aims to ensure that market practices and strategies do not reduce consumer welfare. Industrial policy, meanwhile, aims at securing framework conditions that are favourable to industrial competitiveness, and deals with (sector-specific) production rules as well as the direction of public funds and tax measures. But, how should competition policy and industrial policy interact? Is industrial policy contradicting the aims of competition policy by promoting specific industrial interests?

By: Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: July 15, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

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, Patrick Child, Eric Cornuel, Maria Demertzis, Ding Yuan, Luigi Gambardella, Jiang Jianqing, Frank Kirchner, Pascal Lamy, Li Mingjun, Gwenn Sonck, Gerard Van Schaik, Reinhilde Veugelers, Wang Hongjian, Guntram B. Wolff, Xu Bin, Zhang Hongjun and Zhou Snow Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 12, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Opening speech by Bruno Le Maire

Bruno Le Maire, minister of the economy and finance, delivered the opening speech at Bruegel's event “The Eurozone agreement – a mini revolution?”, 8 July 2019.

By: Bruno Le Maire Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 9, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Policy Brief

The European Union energy transition: key priorities for the next five years

The new members of the European Parliament and European Commission who start their mandates in 2019 should put in place major policy elements to unleash the energy transition. It is becoming economically and technically feasible, with most of the necessary technologies now available and technology costs declining. The cost of the transition would be similar to that of maintaining the existing system, if appropriate policies and regulations are put in place.

By: Simone Tagliapietra, Georg Zachmann, Ottmar Edenhofer, Jean-Michel Glachant, Pedro Linares and Andreas Loeschel Topic: Energy & Climate Date: July 9, 2019
Load more posts