MES 2020: 22 July 2020


Where is Europe Heading? New Perspectives for an Old Continent

22 July 2020

The European Union is undergoing probably the most radical upheaval since its foundation. The international community is fighting for cohesion. Nationalism is strengthening in some countries and populists are questioning the basic democratic values of the EU. The struggle for a political and economic position vis-à-vis China and the USA has also been newly inflamed. New ideas and effective political measures are needed to solve these and other challenges.

To address these fundamental issues at the beginning of the new decade, the Munich Economic Summit as a European economic policy forum matters more than ever.

By covering topics that address Europe’s current challenges and opportunities, the summit in 2020 aims to provide constructive and positive contributions to greater European cohesion and prosperous development. The summit under the topic “Where is Europe Heading? New Perspectives for an Old Continent” will deal with issues like Europe’s role and competitiveness in an uncertain economic environment, the rise and consequences of economic nationalism, as well as the governance of the Eurozone Monetary and Fiscal Policy.

The summit takes place in Munich in July 2020 at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria.


A European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is the new growth strategy of the European Union. It commits the EU to be climate neutral in 2050. Key policies of the strategy range from ambitiously cutting emissions, to investing in cutting-edge research and innovation, to preserving Europe’s natural environment. This panel will discuss challenges and opportunities of the European Green Deal, whether the new policy incentivizes European citizens and businesses to take up environmental sustainability and whether the initiative is just and socially fair to leave no individual and region behind. But also if the Green Deal is a realistic and coherent policy commitment by the EU which inspires other countries to follow suit, and whether European businesses stay competitive with the new carbon border adjustment.

European Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Times of Low Interest Rates

The financial crisis caused a decade of low interest rates and current ECB policy continues to pursue keeping interest rates low in the next years. This panel will discuss European fiscal and monetary policy in times of low interest rates. On the one hand, low interest rates help kickstart the economy and make it cheaper for member states to invest and refinance debt burdens. On the other hand, low interest rates can harm pension funds and expropriate savers. What are the best fiscal and monetary policy options for the Eurozone: Should countries use low interest rates for expansionary policies or should an increase in the debt to GDP ratio be avoided? What can the ECB do in times when their main policy instrument has little room to be adjusted? Should countries use their fiscal space to reduce public debt, to increase public investments, or rather, give money back by cutting taxes?

Inclusive Growth and Competitiveness for Europe

Both the private sector and governments are confronted with major challenges – globalization, digitalization and demographic shifts are transforming the demands on our economy. At the same time, growing income and participatory gaps between individuals and regions demand that we rethink the underpinnings of social cohesion and competitiveness. This panel explores the topics of urban-rural-gaps and regional disparities, causes and consequences of economic inequality, and how to promote inclusion through innovation and how to reform the tax system to improve labor-market participation and to reduce inequality.


The ifo Institute is one of Europe’s leading economic research institutes and has a very high-profile media presence. The ifo Institute forms a bridge between academic research and public discourse. It focuses on applied economic research with clear policy implications with a view to achieving greater stability, prosperity and cohesion for Europe and the world. It strives to comply with the highest scientific standards and aims to play a policy advisory role and contribute to policy debate.

CESifo is a global independent research network. Its mission is to advance international scientific knowledge exchange about economics and economic policy, to strengthen the cooperation between the ifo Institute and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich and to maintain Munich as a vibrant hub of economic debate in Europe.