Economic Ideas Forum - Bratislava 2014

October 16 - 17, 2014


Can You Start a Company in a Garage in Europe?

Gunnar Hökmark, Member of the European Parliament, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs argues for simpler policies to promote startups in Europe.

Central European Tigers: A New Golden Age

Marcin Piatkowski, Senior Economist at the World Bank office in Warsaw, shows how rapid growth in Central Europe has offset centuries of economic decline.

Data Protection Key to Trust Between US and Europe

Elmar Brok, Member of the European Parliament, argues that we need to address data protection issues before discussing it in the TTIP.

Karim Lesina: Mobile Is the Future for All Sectors

Karima Lesina, Vice-President of AT&T’s International External Affairs for the EU, describes the consumer's desire for mobile and the importance networks will play going forward.

Bitcoin and Quantum Computing Will Change Banking

Vladimír Šucha, Director-General of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, predicts major changes in banking due to outside innovations like Bitcoin and quantum computers.

The Important Building Blocks of Innovation

Frank Held, Managing Director of Bayer for 
Czech Republic and Slovakia, stresses the importance of laying the groundwork for economic innovation and competitiveness.

Do Countries Like Slovakia Have a Duty to Help Reform?

Mikulas Dzurinda, President of the Wilfried Martens Centre, asserts that countries like Slovakia have a duty to share their experience of reform with their neighbors, like Ukraine and Moldova. 

President of Slovakia: Freedom Essential for Innovation

President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska emphasizes the importance of economic freedom to unleash innovation in Europe.

About this conference

The Martens Centre is proud to host the fifth annual Economic Ideas Forum, to be held in Bratislava during the 16th and the 17th of October under the patronage of Mikuláš Dzurinda, WMCES President and former Prime Minister of Slovakia. This yearly conference brings together economic experts, high level policy makers and business representatives in order to discuss new economic solutions for issues of European and global importance. The key message of this year's Forum is that the return to growth requires a renewed commitment to our core principles of reform, innovation, social justice and smart investment. In this context, twenty five years after the collapse of Communism, the economies of Central and Eastern Europe can offer important lessons, both for EU's eastern neighbours and other member states. Furthermore, Bratislava stands at the intersection of the 'old' and 'new' EU in which innovation and the ability to reform are acknowledged as cornerstones of a successful economic model. In this context, Bratislava is the natural choice for further developing policies for fostering Europe's recovery in the years ahead.

About The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies

The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies (previously the Centre for European Studies) was established in 2007 as the political foundation and official think tank of the European People’s Party (EPP). It embodies a pan-European mind-set based on centre-right, Christian Democrat, conservative and like-minded political values and research. It serves as a framework for national political foundations linked to member parties of the EPP, with 29 foundations currently members. The Martens Centre takes part in the preparation of EPP programmes and policy documents. It organises seminars and training on EU policies and on the process of European integration.

The Centre also contributes to formulating EU and national public policies. It produces research studies and books, policy briefs, and the twice-yearly European View journal. Its research activities are divided into six clusters: party structures and EU institutions, economic and social policies, EU foreign policy, environment and energy, values and religion, and new societal challenges. Through its papers, publication launches, conferences and online activities, the Martens Centre offers a platform for discussion among experts, politicians, policymakers and the European public. At the beginning of 2014, the Centre was renamed in honour of its late President and founder, Wilfried Martens, the EPP’s long-standing President and former Prime Minister of Belgium.

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