Europe’s Economic Crisis and Recovery     Print Email
Thursday, 22 April 2010

On April 22, 2010 The European Institute's Transatlantic Roundtable on Financial and Economic Affairs held a special luncheon meeting with The Honorable Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. In his first official visit to the United States since assuming this critical portfolio, Commissioner Rehn addressed the European Union’s efforts to restore financial stability and stimulate economic growth in the face of an unprecedented sovereign debt crisis. Speaking with Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor-at-large at Thomson Reuters, he outlined the actions taken to address Greece’s looming insolvency: fiscal consolidation and agreement on a euro area mechanism of coordinated conditional financial assistance for Greece. Commissioner Rehn emphasized his confidence in the cooperation between the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. He downplayed concerns about debt crisis contagion in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, reminding participants that rising debt levels were in part the natural consequence of the stimulus packages enacted in response to the financial crisis, and that Greece is a special case. Commissioner Rehn reiterated his call to grant audit powers to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency. He urged strengthening of the economic governance of the euro area through reinforcement of the Stability and Growth pact; broadening economic and fiscal surveillance to help rectify macroeconomic imbalances; and the establishment of a permanent crisis resolution mechanism. Commissioner Rehn also  addressed financial sector reform proposals on both sides of the Atlantic, stressing the importance of coordinating such policies not only within the transatlantic context, but also within the G-20 framework.

This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

 
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    To the union leaders who occupy offices inside, the big white building just north of Lafayette Square in Washington is known as The House of Labor. Encased on marble, with a view of the White House, it exudes the power that once belonged to leaders of American labor unions to help pick and elect Democratic Party presidents and push their agendas through Congress.

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UMD Jean Monnet Research Project

Infrastructure Planning and Financing: Lessons from Europe and the United States

The University of Maryland has received a Jean Monnet grant from the EU to conduct a series of policy exchanges between Europe and the US on filling infrastructure needs and the utility of public/private partnerships as the financing mechanism. If interested in participating in or receiving more information about these exchanges, please contact Rye McKenzie (rmckenzi@umd.edu).

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New from the Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges.

"Edge of a Precipice" by Nathan Crist

"Newpolitik" by Emily Hruban

 

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