Though in the past several years substantial progress has been made in completing the structure of Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union, not all economic inconsistencies have been solved. This talk will discuss three main challenges that still need to be addressed. First, sound fiscal policies need to be conducted while keeping sustainable welfare systems. Second is the conflict between policy objectives and economic realities – vulnerable economies cannot reduce their debts and simultaneously gain competitiveness. Third, financial stability and integrated financial markets cannot be established unless the relationship between banks and their sovereigns is reformed. Addressing each of these challenges is important, and it could benefit all Euro zone members.
Marco Buti, educated at the Universities of Florence and Oxford, joined the European Commission in 1987. He was economic advisor of the Commission President until 2003; from September 2003 to August 2006 he was Director of Economies of Member States at the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs where, as from 1 September 2006, he was appointed Deputy Director General and, since December 2008, Director General. He is the Commission Finance Deputy in the G7 and G20. He has been visiting professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the University of Florence and at the European University Institute. He has published extensively on EMU, macroeconomic policies, structural reforms, welfare state, and unemployment.