The Peterson Institute for International Economics and the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) held a conference on long-term growth strategies for Europe on October 14, 2015. The conference featured the release of the new MGI report, "A Window of Opportunity for Europe,” and a discussion with the Institute's newest senior fellow, Olivier J. Blanchard.
In the opening policy panel, PIIE Senior Fellow William R. Cline updated his independent analyses of long-term debt sustainability in Greece and elsewhere in the euro area, and PIIE Visiting Fellow Nicolas Véron assessed the important new European Commission strategy for achieving Capital Markets Union. Jan Mischke, senior fellow at MGI, presented work on surmounting European competitiveness challenges. Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Institute, chaired the panel.
In the second panel, Eric Labaye, chair at MGI, presented findings from their new report, which is the culmination of a major effort by MGI to focus efforts on how Europe's economy might thrive. The report argues that Europe has a window of opportunity in which to act that is created by the recent fall in oil prices, a favorable euro exchange rate, the quantitative easing program undertaken by the European Central Bank, and an improving business climate. Olivier Blanchard, the new C. Fred Bergsten Senior Fellow at the Institute and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (2008–15), shared his perspective on how likely it is that Europe will seize this opportunity or watch its economy fall back, and what seizing the opportunity should entail. Adam S. Posen, PIIE president, moderated the discussion.