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    The EIB’s annual economics conference, organised in cooperation with the OECD, Columbia University and SUERF, brought together almost 400 economists and policy makers of governments, national and international institutions, prominent academics and leading financial and corporate executives. President Hoyer, in his opening remarks, commented on the importance of partnerships and the urgency to set economic growth on the right course.

    “If we want to maintain peace and prosperity in Europe, we must fix economic growth and relaunch multilateralism and global partnerships. We must set the course for tomorrow today already. The vibrant discussions at our annual economic conference can help set that course!”

    • President Hoyer

    Europe: smart and green

    Under the overarching theme of “Europe: smart and green”, the conference included vivid discussions and keynote speeches on topics ranging from the ways the pandemic will change the world to shifting perspectives on risk, the need for transparent public interventions and the role of financial markets and banks in the twin transition digital and carbon-neutral future. 

    The conference also marked the launch of the annual EIB Investment Report, “Building a smart and green Europe in the COVID-19 era”, which was presented by our Chief Economist, Debora Revoltella.

    “The US would benefit from an EIB of its own”

    While the need to increase support for the EU’s recovery and transformation even further was pointed out, together with the improvement of investment absorption and technical capacities, key speakers commented on what Europe is already doing well.

    Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned professor of economics, emphasised that the EU’s Green deal is “the gold standard, the best plan in the world, of what needs to be done to decarbonise our economies.” He concluded that the EU already has an institution that is crucial and capable of making the plan a success.

    "The EIB is a critical institution, even a beautiful one. It is exactly the institution the EU needs to finance the green and digital transition. The US would benefit from an EIB of its own."

    • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University

    Providing a similar perspective from across the Atlantic, Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz commented: 

    “We have the means”

    Other key speakers including Odile Renaud-Basso, President European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Klaus Regling -Managing Director European Stability Mechanism, focused on what Europe needs to do to turn the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity to address the long-term challenge of the digital and green transition. Parallel sessions dived deeper into topics ranging from the challenges facing local governments in Europe to the need to help developing deal with the pandemic, and to support green development around the globe.

    Speaking on the second day of the conference, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, set out a determined ad optimistic vision: