The 6th Ifo-CoR Brussels International Economic Forum “Reconstructing the Eurozone” was held at the Committee of the Regions (CoR) headquarters in Brussels. Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, President of the Committee of the Regions, opened the conference by stressing that, "The crisis and especially the dysfunction of the financial market are driving regions and Member States apart, internally as well as at a European level. The financing of necessary investments is undermined in the weaker part of the EU". This year, the Forum was also marked by the twentieth anniversary of the European Single Market. CoR President Valcárcel Siso recalled that, "To stay competitive and to use the potential of the European Single Market, public and private investment is needed. We support new investments to create a digital Europe, to reinforce European industrial basis and to create a common energy market and a knowledge-based economy."
In his introductory speech on “A new model for the Eurozone”, Professor Hans-Werner Sinn, President of the Ifo Institute, Germany, focused on the real price imbalances within the Eurozone and the asymmetric monetary expansion of the Southern countries. He argued that the Eurosystem should become an open currency union that allows for temporary exits with a credible return possibility and features a settlement system among central banks similar to that of the US District Feds. He advocated creating a United States of Europe with a strong federal state, a parliament based on the "one man, one vote" principle and a common army, but with no debt mutualisation.
The first panel 'A new model for the Eurozone' focused on recent developments and their implications for the regulation and governance of the Eurozone. It also discussed the construction of a new model for the Eurozone. The second panel 'Optimal institutions for responding to the challenges of globalisation' considered the institutional arrangements necessary for the EU to cope with globalisation challenges, including the EU-US free trade agreement, labour market regulation and the regional concentration of economic activity.