The theme and profile of the 39th Conference
This year, the Conference will focus on the future of Europe in the context of globalization and growing uncertainties in economic developments. The ever-growing international economic integration has made world markets become more dynamic, while at the same time less predictable. As a consequence, economic policies at the national and the Community level are increasingly difficult to draft. In this context, the implementation of the reforms promoted by the renewed Lisbon strategy represents a real challenge for the European Union.
The aim of the Conference is to discuss the future of Europe both from a national and an EU perspective, with a special focus on methodologies and institutional improvements regarding macroeconomic forecasting. The detailed topics of the conference are provided in Annex 1 and cover the three following areas:
· Global economic trends and increasing uncertainties;
· Position of the EU and its member states in the world economy;
· Policies in the EU in response to increasing uncertainties.
The organizers expect the debate will broach the way macroeconomic forecasts can estimate the magnitude of these uncertainties or can take risks into consideration. The relationship between national forecasts, the international environment and national or Community policies should also be tackled. In particular, the question whether the use of macroeconomic models still represent, in a world of uncertainties, an adequate method of forecasting, should be addressed.
Specific to the CMTEA, each participant will receive a short questionnaire related to the theme of the Conference. The answers will be processed by the organizers and presented during the Conference.
Presentation of the Conference on Medium-Term Assessment
This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Conference on Medium-Term Economic Assessment (CMTEA). This forum was set up by specialists from public institutions and the academic world in Western Europe to exchange views on economic planning and forecasting of medium-term developments. The first Conference, organized in Paris in 1968, was devoted to technical and institutional aspects of Planning. The dramatic economic changes in the seventies and the expansion of market economy towards Eastern European countries in the nineties broadened the scope of issues covered at the Conference as well as its audience. Last year, participants from no less than twenty-five countries attended the Conference held in Kranjska gora (Slovenia) which addressed the topic of the implementation of the EU Growth and Jobs Strategy. On this occasion, the proposal made by the Romanian delegation to host the Conference in 2008 was received with enthusiasm and gained support from all participants.
In order to organize this jubilee edition and also to preserve the importance of this manifestation within the field of international economic conferences, a permanent CMTEA committee was established last year to assist the organizing country. This committee currently includes representatives of the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau (FPB), the Slovenian Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) and the Romanian National Commission for Economic Forecasting (NCEF).
The themes of the previous editions reflect, within the Conference main objective of assessing economic developments in European countries, the concern to bring into the debate policy areas broader in scope:
· Russia 2000 – “Assessment from the Millennium Perspective”
· Slovenia 2002 – “ Forecasting, Institutions and Economic Policy in times of economic uncertainty”
· Romania 2004 – “The economic convergence process within the European Union”
· Bulgaria 2005 – “Labour market transformation towards a knowledge based economy”; http://www.aeaf.minfin.bg/cmtea01.htm
· Slovenia 2007 – “National reforms for the implementation of the Lisbon strategy: their monitoring, assessment and impacts”; http://www.umar.gov.si/akonf.php