Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation

Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation
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Can Europe Afford a Surplus-Seeking Model?
23 January 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

Southern Europe's current accounts are rapidly rebalancing by way of tough structural devaluation. However, this is happening mainly through the contraction of imports, potentially causing the eurozone to become a surplus bloc. How sustainable is a further extension of a surplus-seeking model which is strongly dependent on external dis-savings? Do intra-eurozone imbalances really reflect competitiveness differentials, or are they the result of financial distortions? If the latter is the dominant aspect, should rebalancing focus more on financial surveillance rather than on continent-wide wage moderation? Does an approach focusing on intra-eurozone rebalancing risk hindering the exploitation of comparative advantages, which should naturally arise in a single market?     

Citizen’s Controversy with Sebastian Dullien, Professor of International Economics at the HTW-Berlin and Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council for Foreign Relations, and Jurgen Matthes, Senior Economist at the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.  

The debate was moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate was held in English.

 Jurgen Matthes Presentation

 Sebastian Dullien Presentation


The EU and the Grosse Koalition: Where to Now, Ms. Merkel?
21 January 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

The German electoral campaign has neglected a number of issues concerning Germany's position on the future architecture of the Eurozone governance, these range from the incomplete path towards a banking union, to a re-launch of German domestic demand, to the rising unemployment differentials increasingly fostering political instability at the periphery of the Eurozone. Will the SPD presence in the government help to re-balance the German current account and restart public investment, removing some of the most savings-enhancing effects of the Hartz package, or has it rather given up on European issues? Will the Grosse Koalition weaken the prospects for a united socialist block in the next European Parliament with reference to sensitive EMU governance issues? Will Germany be more vocal on foreign policy and on growing transatlantic tensions, or confirm a line of strategic dependence vis-à-vis the United States in the name of the TTIP?    

Citizen’s Controversy with Daniela Schwarzer, Director of the EU Programme of the German Marshal Fund of the United States, and Jo Leinen, Member of the European Parliament.  

The debate was moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate was held in English.


Constructing a Banking Union: Converging or Diverging Interests between the City and the Euro?
17 January 2014, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

A move towards a centralised banking resolution is the key to ending the eurozone's financial fragmentation, a fragmentation that is severely hindering the prospects for recovery in the distressed peripheral countries. However, after the recent compromise reached at the Council on the Single Resolution Fund (SRF), many issues remain unresolved: Is the 55bn EUR fund sufficiently capitalised, and is the envisgaed 10 year time-frame too long? Does the permanence of an intergovernmental logic during the transition period pave the way to potential restructuring through "colonisation"? Does the absence of a proper fiscal backstop undermine the credibility of the Asset Quality Review (AQR) undertaken by the ECB? Does the agreed solution provide enough incentives to break the feedback loops between banks and sovereigns, reducing the preference for domestic sovereign debt-holding which is detrimental to credit issuance in the real economy? Should the supervision and resolution mechanisms apply only to systemic banks, or should they also apply to small actors?

Citizen’s Controversy with Olivier Guersent, Head of the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Internal Market, and Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament.

The debate was moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate was held in English.


Is Large-Scale Privatisation a Viable Way to Cut Debt in the Eurozone?
12 December 2013, Brussels, 13:00 - 14:30

Countries undergoing adjustment programmes are recommended to look at large-scale sale of public assets in order to find the liquidity to cover short-term debt maturities. However, many argue that this might be of no benefit for long-term solvency. Should the eurozone adopt measures that show such a controversial record of effectiveness, as demonstrated during years of IFI-led adjustment paradigms, and in light of the difficulties encountered so far by the Greek privatisation process? Are there hidden low-cost asset-stripping opportunities for the countries dictating discipline, especially when it comes to natural monopolies or strategic network industries?     

Citizen’s Controversy with Leila Fernandez-Stembridge, Economic Analyst, DG ECFIN of the European Commission, and Paolo Manasse, Professor of Economics at the University of Bologna.  

The debate was moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate was held in English.

 Leila Fernandez-Stembridge Presentation 

 Paulo Manasse Presentation  


Entre "la fin du rêve européen" et "un second souffle pour l'Europe" quelle argumentation pour le citoyen éclairé?
17 décembre 2013, Bruxelles, 13:00 - 14:30

L'Europe, c'est un fait indiscutable, suit depuis 2010 un chemin de crête entre deux précipices - faillite bancaire ou défaut souverain - sans qu'elle soit sûre qu'il conduise vraiment à un sommet. La désillusion et le doute s'installent dans l'opinion. Les politiques redoublent d'efforts pour défendre l'acquis, mais d'autres font assaut d'euroscepticisme ou questionnent radicalement le type d'UE qui se construit à Bruxelles.

Entre ces courants, des penseurs engagés dans l'action comme François Heisbourg et des mandataires européens eux-mêmes faisant autorité dans le débat d'idées comme Henri Weber, ouvrent des voies nouvelles.

Ils font saisir au citoyen la portée des enjeux de la défense - difficile - de l'intégration en cours, à l'esquisse de perspectives concrètes pour un modèle de développement commun et pour l'affirmation d'une puissance européenne.

La Controverse Citoyenne du 17 décembre a porté sur cette tentative de politiser le débat européen à la veille de l'élection.

Le débat a été modéré par Pierre Defraigne, Directeur Exécutif de la Fondation Madariaga-Collège d'Europe.

Le débat s'est tenu en français.


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Call for Applications

Peace Tour Award for Outstanding Chinese Students in Europe

The Peace Tour Award has been jointly set up by the Madariaga-College of Europe Foundation (MCF) and the Europe-China Cultural and Educational Foundation (ECCEF), the European branch of the Peace Tour Committee - World Famous Chinese Artists Global Painting Peace Tour Committee - in order to grant awards to outstanding Chinese students or researchers studying in the European Union.

Deadline for application: 24th of April (midnight, CET)

More info here



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