The 2013 Free Market Road Show (May 8th – June 27th)
„After three years of stagnation, the mood in Europe is definitely gloomy. Many people, not only in the southern European countries, doubt that the current European model has a future,“ Dr. Barbara Kolm, Director of the Austrian Economics Center (AEC) and host of the Free Market Road Show 2013 said today.
For five years the European Union has tried to fight the consequences of the fiscal crisis, tried to rescue banks across Europe and created austerity programs, in the hope to overcome the gigantic debt crisis. The central question for Europe is the topic of ´The 2013 Free Market Road Show´ conference: „Will austerity programs alone save Europe?“ Even so-called leading European politicians are not sure which direction to choose. Too often they can just provide quick solutions.
„A short-term damage control is simply not good enough. A deep and wide ranging reform process must take place. Europe has to renew the financial and product market. Reforms in those markets are in turn putting pressure for reform in the labor market. Reform in the labor market will eventually take place, but not overnight and not without political tensions,“ Kolm argues.
The 2013 Free Market Road Show, touring through 26 cities and 24 countries will elaborate the opportunities, risks and chances for Europe. „And I am very sure we will provide alternatives. The present situation is like a one way road that leads to stagnation and a continuesly increasing unemployment rate especially among the youth“, Kolm said.
During the conference, starting in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on May 8th, more than hundred speakers from around the world will focus on three thematic panels.
1. More Europe vs. Less Europe: „How much Europe can we really afford?“
2. Deregulation vs. Regulation: „What brings an economy back on track?“
3. Welfare vs. Opportunities: „Can youth unemployment be solved with more state intervention – or more freedom?“
At least two of these thematic panels will be discussed in each city – from Athens to Zagreb. The 2013 Free Market Road Show is – as it always has been – a perfect opportunity for opinion leaders, policy experts, elected officials, business people and students to exchange their views on the current European crisis.
„Really important is the outcome of the conference: What are the alternatives for Europe and the Euro-zone? Europe´s strength lies in its diversity. I have my doubts, if a stronger European state with more and more regulations and restrictions is really needed. As libertarians we value the free economy that can regulate the European marketplace itself. Generally I am sure there is little room for optimism and the Free Market Road Show 2013 will confirm my view “, Kolm said.
Over the last years, the Free Market Road Show started in 2008, the Austrian Economics Center (AEC) and all its partners came to the conclusion:
The EU’s central problem is that its solution to everything is to impose an extra layer of government, generally unaccountable to the European citizen except in the most theoretical sense. One size fits all policies do not work.
„We have warned our audience to prepare against the financial crisis long before it hit Europe,“ Kolm continues, „and we have discussed the negative consequences of the welfare state and the sovereign debt crisis. Last year we debated alternatives to the Euro. In short, we are trendsetters for economic topics and present alternative solutions. Just more of the same has never succeeded.“
The 2013 Free Market Road Show brings together over 40 leading think-tanks and many well-known politicians, prominent business leaders and representatives of leading universities across Europe and the Caucasus. The Austrian Economics Center is supported by its partners and friends such as the Liberty Fund, Freedom Works, European Students for Liberty, New Direction and Americans for Tax Reform.
„My special thanks go to our sponsors. Because of them this year´s Free Market Road Show will exceed all previous attendance records,“ Kolm predicts in her today´s final statement.
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.