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Workshop on fiscal policy reform proposals

The impact and feasibility of proposals to increase fiscal flexibility in the EU

For policy makers who want to understand and compare the fiscal reform opportunities on the table, for CSOs that recognise the importance of fiscal policy for their work but do not yet know which of the many proposals to support, for anyone who wants to learn about fiscal policy reforms and is interested in a debate.


  • Niels Thygesen, Chairman of the European Fiscal Board (EFB) and Professor Emeritus of International Economics at the University of Copenhagen  
  • Jens Südekum, Professor at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi) and the Foreign Trade Advisory Council of the NRW State Government
  • Thomas Wieser, Economist and former president of Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) of the EU and former president of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG)
  • Lucio Pench, Director for Macroeconomic Policies, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission
  • Jakob Hafele, Managing Director, ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies

Today we stand at a crucial point in Europe's history to build future-fit societies and economies. The European Union is committed to making the continent climate neutral by 2050, and the recovery from the pandemic urges Member States to address social, environmental and economic challenges and build long-term resilience.

To achieve the ambitious environmental goals and ensure that people can live dignified and peaceful lives, public funds play a pivotal role in creating the infrastructure and the right social and economic conditions for such a transition. Drawing on the lessons-learned from previous crises, many European leaders are making it clear that it is now the time to increase fiscal flexibility. However, a complex system of fiscal rules, the European fiscal governance framework, obliges Member States to comply with strict fiscal rules. With the suspension of the stability and growth pact (SGP) due to the pandemic last spring, an opportunity has arisen to rethink and reform the fiscal rules.

In the context of the intense debate on a reform of the EU fiscal framework, many different reform proposals have been put forward. However, a clear structuring as well as a thorough assessment of the political and technical feasibility of these proposals are missing. At this workshop, ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies will present the preliminary results of a feasibility and impact analysis of the most relevant proposals.  

The workshop will open up a discussion between participants from the European institutions and Member States as well as experts in this field on the political and technical feasibility of the reform proposals presented. The results of this debate will feed into ZOE’s final feasibility and impact analysis report.

Chatham house rules apply.


  • You will learn from the expertise of our opening speakers on the reform of the European fiscal rules.
  • You will be provided with a well-structured overview of a wide range of reform proposals to the current EU fiscal framework.
  • You will learn about different proposals for a reform of the EU fiscal framework and what impact they are expected to generate for increasing fiscal flexibility in the EU.
  • You will participate in a discussion on the political and technical feasibility of those proposals.
  • You will be able to engage in an exchange with other participants from the European Institutions, national governments, academia and CSOs in this field to assess the political and technical feasibility of concrete proposals.  
  • Your contributions to the discussion and your assessment of the political and technical feasibility of the reform proposals will influence ZOE's work, as the results of the workshop will feed into the feasibility study.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

ZOE Institute for Future-fit economies
29 Sep