“Let’s get to know our Europe deeply” – a quick wrap-up of ECOFIN’s expert

“Let’s get to know our Europe deeply” – a quick wrap-up of ECOFIN’s expert

by Adelaide Formica

19 April 2016

Stefano Riela, professor of European Economic Policy and Economics of the European Union at the Bocconi University, yesterday spoke to the delegates of our CEU-ECOFIN. 

image1-2There were two the main topics he shared with us: migration and the vicious cycle of financial crises and he immediately caught our eye with the first one: migration, though not really a recent issue at the United Nations or the European Union, is in fact a global phenomenon and constantly growing in scope, complexity and impact. Migration is both a cause and effect of broader development processes and an intrinsic feature of our globalizing world. 

In 2015, about 1.3 million people were migrants (for economic or political reasons) and the countries from which the biggest number of migrants leave are Syria, Eritrea and Iraq. Immigrants coming to the European Union are asylum seekers and they are looking for some kind of protection: they are recognized as refugees. Let’s pay attention to the subtle difference between refugees, those who are escaping from conflicts and persecutions, and migrant, those who mainly move to improve their lives by finding work, education or family. A set of rules, known as Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), has been designed to ensure that countries in the European Union pursue sound public finances and coordinate their fiscal policies.

But now let’s move on to the second topic: the vicious cycle of financial crisis. It all started when a slowdown in the US-economy caused over-extended American homeowners to default on their mortgages, banks all over the world with investments linked to those mortgages started losing money.  And how did the European Union respond? The commission pursued a number of initiatives to create a safer and sounder financial sector for the single market and created a banking union for member states. However, the answer to break the circle of crises is cutting the link between banks and their national sovereign. It’s time for banks to walk on their own feet.  

These are the last words of Prof. Riela’s speech and I would personally like to thank to him for spending his time with us. 

(c) Adelaide Formica for the MILMUN Chronicle

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