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Addressing uncertainty: Progressive economics in an age of insecurity

26 May 2017
Addressing uncertainty: Progressive economics in an age of insecurity

Developing an economic approach that successfully addresses the uncertainty citizens still feel a decade on from the start of the financial crash is the number one task for progressives. That was certainly the conclusion of discussion as Policy Network and the Renner-Institut hosted the latest Progressive Governance seminar in Vienna, with kind support from the SPÖ-Parlamentsklub. The meeting brought together senior policymakers from across Europe and produced lively, and frank, discussions about how progressives can try and answer both the pain of voters, so clearly seen with the success of Le Pen, Brexit and Trump,  while at the same time equipping the economy for the big technological shocks to come.

In his take on the Vienna discussions, leading Italian Democratic party MP Andrea Romano neatly summarises the arguments, both political and policy, that were wrestled with round the table in Vienna. Debate was structured around a number of papers. With all eyes on the new resident of the Élysée, Vincent Aussilloux of France Stratégie set out thoughts on how President Macron’s reform programme could spearhead a new wider European public investment plan. The Lisbon Council’s Paul Hofheinz made a strong argument for progressives to stop running down the new economy and instead develop policy responses that address the reality of change. Germany’s Philipp Steinberg set out a vision of a stronger, more resilient and more equitable euro area, that is neither 'only' the northern-European way, nor just the southern approach but instead an intelligent and comprehensive combination of the two.

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