EES Ecomomy Talks 2019 Vienna, on November 13th & 14th, 2019
at the Austrian National Bank (OeNB)
Topic: ”The Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century
- What needs to change now for Europe to move forward “

On 13 and 14 November 2019 the first international conference "The Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century" took place in Vienna. Initiators of this conference were the Hayek Institute, which cooperates with the European Economic Senate (EWS) and the Austrian Economics Center.

Think tanks, organisations and scientists were invited to submit their opinions and proposals by the end of September. The best ideas and concepts were then presented and discussed at this conference at the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB).

In view of the many challenges such as BREXIT, demographic change, globalisation, digitisation and climate change, increased migration and refugee flows to Europe, increased foreign policy pressure on the EU from the USA, Russia and China, the EU is facing a mountain of challenges. To make matters worse, the EU is still miles away from achieving the Europe 2020 goals it has set itself.

There is a wealth of ideas on how activists and policy-makers of all stripes would like to change Europe. The crosshairs of these groups are the economy. It is important to be very attentive here. Most of the time it's about more government spending, more transfers or higher and new taxes. At the end of the day, everything has to be paid by us taxpayers, i.e. companies and taxpaying private individuals.

In a digital world of information, characterised by "social media", it is therefore important to impart the necessary knowledge to people in understandable language in order to recognise political seductions that endanger freedom and prosperity at an early stage. Because not every well-meant idea is really good. If citizens lack simple national economic expertise, they threaten to become the plaything of politicians and activists. In their opinion the state should regulate everything. People are deprived of their responsibility, at the same time citizens are made more and more dependent on state services and thus become a defenceless underage victim of power. This not only contradicts the basic principles of the social market economy, but at the same time destroys prosperity and future opportunities, prevents growth and innovation.

That is why this conference had a special role to play. It is undisputed that issues such as climate change cannot be resolved by one country or continent alone. It is now a matter of finding the right balance, so to speak laying the right foundation for the new house of Europe and developing a role model - such as the "social market economy" was and is.

The pillar or foundation could be the teaching of the Austrian School of Economics, i.e. the ideas of the great Austrian economists, social scientists and thinkers such as Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich A. von Hayek and Joseph Schumpeter.

For the Austrian School of National Economy does not see the economy as an object of state political regulatory frenzy or centralistic control. Rather, the focus is on self-responsible entrepreneurial action and free interaction on the market. Here, economic connections and their social and political implications are explained in a way that everyone can understand. The starting point is not the perfectly thinking fictitious "homo oeconomicus", but the normal simple person. And these people need to be persuaded and taken along in the reforms.


Download EES-Programme
Download Programme at the OeNB

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