The need for a strong and integrated Europe


Opening of the 45th Economics Conference of the OeNB in Linz

High-ranking experts from science, politics, trade and industry are convening at the 45th Economics Conference in Linz today and tomorrow to discuss the future of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The conference, organized jointly by the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) and the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO), also marks the start of the Austrian EU presidency. In his opening remarks, OeNB Governor Ewald Nowotny said, “Overall, the Eurosystem has weathered the global financial crisis well, and it has also made sure to enhance its toolbox – for instance in European banking supervision – for preventing future crises more effectively. Because monetary union needs inner strength to remain open to future integration.”

EMU and the euro are great achievements of the European peace project. But Europe’s future also depends on its economic strength and all Member States’ commitment to deeper integration. The current good economic situation must be used to take EMU further so that future global challenges can be addressed successfully. In this respect, the conference aims to contribute to a rational dialogue and to foster the mutual understanding of Europe’s future prospects on the one hand and Austria’s role on the other.

In addition to OeNB Governor Ewald Nowotny and Vice Governor Andreas Ittner, the list of speakers includes the President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, ECB Executive Board Member Yves Mersch, WKO President Harald Mahrer and numerous representatives of the European banking industry and economic policymakers.