It is time to say farewell to 2022 and reflect on what we have done and see how we can improve in the New Year. At the start of the year, we all hoped for the pandemic to be over sooner rather than later. As luck would have it, the pandemic is mostly being put behind, but the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, the energy crisis and the worldwide inflation didn’t leave a lot of room for happiness.
This didn’t stop the Free Market Road Show which after two years of being held online was finally on the road. This time, we roamed 33 cities across Europe, having more events than pre-Corona. From A for Amsterdam to Z for Zagreb, or from Tel Aviv in the east to Porto in the west, and Stockholm in the north to Athens in the south – thanks to old partners and new and the filled-out auditoriums – heated discussions ensued on the most pressing issues of the day.
Like the FMRS, the annual European Resource Bank meeting was held in person again, after the corona hiatus, this time in Stockholm. The ERB teamed up with the Swedish Taxpayers Organization Skattebetalarnas Förening which celebrated its 101st anniversary and the magazine and foundation Svensk Tidskrift which celebrated its 111th anniversary in 2022. Top international speakers covered pressing issues that are ailing Europe and the World as the high national debt, rising inflation, high taxes, low production, plus the human tragedy of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on top of the economic crisis.
The Dragon’s Den Competition – which offers a platform for newly founded think tanks to present their projects and help winners realize them – took place as well again. The first prize was awarded to Adri Nurellari from the Albanian Liberal for their project “Promoting liberalism in Albanian universities.” Simon Sarevski from Libertania won second place for their project “Cook & Liberty.”
We organized many events and published many articles on our blog, spreading the ideas of liberty to thousands of people. At the same time, our Director Barbara Kolm spoke at many conferences (International Scientific Symposium, CPAC 22 Florida, Global Standards Symposium, Barcelona Mobile World Congress, 93rd International Atlantic, Economic European Virtual Conference, ORF: Im Zentrum Rekordteuerung – Reichen die Rezepte der Regierung?, 49th OeNB Annual Economic Conference and 35th SUERF Colloquium, 8th Biennial Wirth Institute Workshop on Austrian Economics, Rotary Club Vienna International, “World Economy – State of Play and Prospects“ IDU Forum 2022 Berlin, FreedomFest, 31st Economic Forum Europe in the Face of New Challenges, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Think Tank Central “Defending Freedom,” Politics and Money at Neuer Klub, United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) Initiative, Cluj Economics and Business Conference, The First Dolomite Conference On The Global Governance Of Climate Change and A one-of-a-kind platform for digital transformation: the U4SSC Austrian Country Hub.
Our senior fellow Martin Gundinger spoke at the Free Market Solutions to Environmental Challenges and Budgethearing Experts analyze the government’s budget draft. Gernot Danowski interviewed Martin at Radio Kontrafunk. Our senior fellow Scott B. Nelson spoke at Cicero and the Constitution, Mises Workshop at IES Vienna. Our Research and Outreach Coordinator Kai Weiss was interviewed by go Sánchez de la Cruz for Los europeos, indignados con el despilfarro de Irene Montero. Kai spoke at Benedictine College, Atchison, KS, Symposium on Transforming Culture, Free Market Solutions to Environmental Challenges, American Conservation Coalition Summit, EU/Mercosur Trade Webinar: Free trade as a tool to save the environment, Simon Sarevski spoke at The economic logic of the (free) market economy School of Objectivism: Who is John Galt.
2022 saw the relaunch and expansion of Rating Europe where you can browse the budget for a total of 23 countries in detail. Furthermore, you can find out the exact amount of your personal tax bill and create your personal calculation for the state’s services.
When it comes to books, the Austrian Economics Center in conjunction with the Hayek Institut, and the University of Donja Gorica published Symbols and Metaphors. The book is authored by Prof. Veselin Vukotić, who has been a key figure in the economic transformation of Montenegro since the collapse of communism. You can get your copy here.
Cicero, Politics, and the 21st Century is another book, co-authored by our Scott Nelson and Matthew Edwards, and addresses the West’s current crisis of confidence. Reflecting on how the famed Roman philosopher-statesmen Marcus Tullius Cicero thought and acted in a time of great turbulence in the ancient world, this book offers lessons to 21st-century students of politics and statesmen alike. You can get your copy here
Because August 15 marks the day after which the citizens of Austria no longer have to pay anything to the Austrian treasury, we honored the 15th, the Tax Freedom Day, to show how much (or how little) net remains from the gross to every Austrian citizen’s paycheck.
Together with our Italian partner Competere, we continued the monthly series of webinars, which were started right after the first online Free Market Road Show in 2020 where experts from various fields are discussing hot topics from the perspective of the Austrian School.
Hayek is alive and well, and he has a lot to say and Bruce Caldwell’s and Hansjörg Klausinger’s newly published biography Hayek: A life, 1899-1950, an 800+ page tome proves that. That is why we organized an all-day private conference with special guests from the US and Europe, discussing Hayek’s most salient contributions.
In our fight to spread the ideas of individual liberty and personal responsibility it was the support of all our friends, all our partners, indeed, all of you out there that made it possible. The success we are so glad to have had would not have been possible without you. This year we will continue the battle, further spreading the ideas of liberty, starting with the Free Market Road Show 2023. Check when the FMRS will visit your city and hopefully, we will get the chance to meet. We want to continue the fight for freedom, and further spread the ideas of libertarianism and the Austrian School of Economics.
For this, we need your continued help. This is why we ask you to stay or become a supporter of our work, regardless of whether it’s by considering a (tax-deductible) donation, following us on social media and spreading our message there, sending us your articles, applying for an internship, or simply consume our material by reading what we write and attend what we organize.
We couldn’t be happier to continue the fight in 2023. Please be part of it.
The AEC’s fundamental goal is to promote a free, responsible and prosperous society. Through education and improving public understanding of key economic questions, the AEC promotes the idea of a free market economy and the ideal of a free society.