“European Economic and Monetary Union: The first and the next 20 years”

(, Vienna)

46th OeNB Economics Conference in cooperation with SUERF, May 2 and 3, 2019, Vienna

When the European Central Bank (ECB) was created on June 1, 1998, and the euro was introduced on January 1, 1999, the project of a European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) became a reality following a long process of monetary cooperation and unification. With 2019 marking the 20th anniversary of the euro, it is worthwhile to take stock of this major institutional reform and explore what the future holds for EMU. To this end, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) and SUERF – The European Money and Finance Forum have joined forces and organized the 46th Economics Conference, which will address precisely these issues.

After a brief look into EMU’s general history, the conference will shed light on how EMU has contributed to monetary, financial and fiscal stability in Europe, making it possible to overcome adversarial events such as the global financial crisis and its aftermath. Experts from academia, finance and politics will examine the role EMU has played in the larger European project and, looking ahead, discuss the steps that still need to be taken to complete this historical project. In terms of future developments, a particular focus will be put on technological changes in the areas of money and finance.

Following opening remarks by OeNB Governor Ewald Nowotny and SUERF President Jakob de Haan, Austria’s Finance Minister Hartwig Löger will give an opening address on the first day of the conference (May 2). In his keynote lecture, Jean-Claude Trichet, Chairman of the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel and former long-standing President of the ECB, will then talk about the currency union’s past, present and future. Subsequently, Luiz de Mello, Director at the OECD, and Peter Mooslechner, outgoing Executive Director of the OeNB, will analyze the role structural policies play for EMU and examine what the “new normal” of monetary policy might and should look like in future. Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Ed Sibley and well-known Economics Commentator of the Financial Times Martin Wolf will thereafter address the interplay between monetary stability and financial stability, whereas President of the Austrian Fiscal Advisory Council Gottfried Haber and Deputy Secretary-General at the OECD Ludger Schuknecht will focus on the interplay between monetary policy and fiscal stability. In the subsequent session, Kerstin Jorna, Deputy Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN) in the European Commission, and Arnaud Mehl, Principal Economist at the ECB, will talk about the international role of the euro. Concluding the first conference day, OeNB Governor Ewald Nowotny will discuss, together with Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, how to strengthen the foundations of EMU.

The second conference day (May 3), which is dedicated to future challenges, will start off with a panel discussion dealing with the digitalization of the financial and monetary system. The panelists will include Ulrich Bindseil, Director-General of Market Operations at the ECB, and Andrei Kirilenko, Director of the Centre for Global Finance and Technology at the Imperial College London. The conference will conclude with presentations on the future of EMU’s institutional setup held by Bruno Cabrillac, Deputy Director General for Economics and International Relations at the Banque de France, and Isabel Schnabel, Professor at the University of Bonn and Member of the German Council of Economic Experts.