In the coming years, Europe faces major structural challenges in the areas of public finances, banking and financial markets. This raises the question of which integration model and which tools can best ensure robust and sustainable European economic and financial policies.
Renowned international experts from the IMF, European Commission, central banks and research institutes discussed these issues with representatives of the German government at an event titled “Challenges to European integration – how to foster a sound and prosperous union”, which was held at the Federal Ministry of Finance in Berlin on 26 September 2017. Professor Hans-Werner Sinn and Xavier Ragot, director of the leading French economic research institute OFCE, were among the speakers who contributed to the lively and at times contentious debate.
The Federal Ministry of Finance’s chief economist, Ludger Schuknecht, facilitated the discussions, which focussed on the further development of the European economic and monetary union. The event made clear that the European integration model cannot be reduced to just a transfer of sovereignty and the centralisation of political responsibility. Instead, more attention must be given to the scope for applying the subsidiarity principle, ensuring local responsibility and promoting good governance at all levels of government.