05 Apr 2018

“It is crucial to prepare the EU economy for rainy days,” said Dr. Grzegorz Poniatowski at the 2018 European Think Tank Summit in Berlin

Dr. Grzegorz Poniatowski, the Director of Fiscal Policy Studies at CASE, participated in the 2018 European Think Tank Summit, which was held in Berlin and co-hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tank and Civil Society Program, which is led by Dr. James G. McGann.

 The theme of this year's summit was: Think Factories in the Age of Digitization, Populism, & Fake News. Almost 100 representatives of leading international think tanks discussed during the meeting their common institutional and political challenges as well as opportunities for their institutes.

Dr. Poniatowski took part in a panel session on the economic challenges facing Europe, which included: resolving the Brexit issue and European instability; rising nationalist and protectionist tendencies in the US and Europe; greater fiscal, monetary, and revenue constraints; persistent high levels of unemployment; demographic realities and pressures; and the challenge of balancing growth, productivity, and social progress.

“The current economic recovery is broad-based—we have noted growth in investment, consumption, and trade. Also, the Economic Surprise and PMI indexes clearly indicate a synchronized economic upswing. However, we can name at least a few challenges that we are facing. Firstly, monetary conditions still underpin the recovery—the balance sheets of central banks have expanded. Secondly, a public debt overhang of nearly 90% in the euro area inhibits growth. Moreover, France and Germany have different agendas when it comes to euro-zone reform,” said Grzegorz Poniatowski.  The CASE Director also noted that “it is crucial to prepare the EU economy for rainy days, which is to ensure fiscal soundness and diminish the balance sheets of central banks.”

Representatives of think tanks also underlined during the summit that we live in extraordinary times for Europe, NATO, and the EU—the post-WWII economic, political, and security order are being challenged and redefined by national, regional, and tectonic shifts in domestic and international politics. Dr. James G. McGann spoke of  a “boom time” for the think tanks, because they are “the light that points the way these days,” he said.