The European Union’s Committee of the Regions and the Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich jointly hosted a conference in Brussels on 11 November 2008. This Ifo BrIEF (Brussels International Economic Forum) delved into some of the issues that pose major policy challenges in the years ahead: the financial crisis and its effects upon the real economy, inflation/deflation, and a capitalisation- and investment-friendly tax regime for multinational corporations. The event was the second in an annual conference series, which seeks to strengthen input from economic experts in European policy-making.
Hosted by Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn and Committee of the Regions Secretary-General Gerhard Stahl, the conference opened with a debate featuring Joaquín Almunia, Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, and Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn. It addressed the causes of the financial crisis and its consequences on the real economy. A first panel then explored policy options available in the current recession, with contributions by Pervenche Berès, President of the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, and Kai Carstensen, Head of the Business Cycle Analyses and Surveys Department of the Ifo Institute.
A second panel examined European tax policy and the taxation of multinationals, with presentations by Robert Verrue, Director General for Taxation and Customs Union, and Thiess Buettner, Head of the Public Finance Department of the Ifo Institute.