Free Market Road Show 2013

To Save or Not to Save: Will austerity programs alone save Europe?

Thursday, May 30th 2013, from 2 pm to 7 pm 

Best Western Premier Hotel Slon, Slovenska cesta 34, Ljubljana, Slovenia

 “’Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded” – F.A.v Hayek

Some observers say austerity programs and extended credit lines will solve the Euro-zone crisis. The implementation of the European Stability Mechanism, for example, has seemed like an ideal solution to some people; but others think it will lead to an even worse crisis and a loss of national sovereignty. The consequences of this would be incalculable.

Unfortunately, recent efforts to save Europe have done little to remedy the situation. The EU has tried to fight the consequences of the financial crisis by attempting to harmonize the fiscal policies of its member states and unifying the most diverse continent on Earth into a stronger political union. In fact, the lack of a real growth plan among European leaders despite the need for urgent structural reforms may be contributing to the creation of a negative growth spiral that could severely damage Europe — and affect future generations for years to come.

Have European leaders forgotten that Europe’s strength lies in its diversity? Do they not realize that Europe’s former economic dynamism depended on freedom and high educational standards? What kind of Europe do EU leaders think they are creating with every attempt to coordinate, harmonize and unify the policies of its member states?

Europe needs to be reinvented. It needs to stop focusing solely on short-term damage control and look beyond the current crisis — and start thinking long-term about how best to manage its resources and implement real structural reforms

The 2013 Free Market Road Show® brought together leading business people, outstanding scholars, opinion leaders, policy experts, elected officials and other interested parties from all over the world to discuss these questions. Panel discussions explored what kind of Europe people want, examine the ‘conundrum’ in which the European Union finds itself in and discuss ways to turn the current crisis into an opportunity.


14:00-14:15 WELCOME: Mag. Tanja Štumberger Porčnik, President, Svetilnik, Slovenia

14:15-15:30 PANEL 1: More Europe vs. Less Europe: How much Europe can we really afford?

Some argue that the solution to the European crisis is more government involvement. Others argue that a smaller more local state is best. How much more Europe can we afford, given the current fiscal problems? Will a bigger and stronger European state help — or should we put more emphasis on local economies and decentralized structures?

Chair:        Mag. Bernard Brščič, President of the Council, Institute Jože Pučnik, Slovenia

Key note:  Dr. Ben Powell, Associate Professor, Suffolk University, USA

Podium:    Dr. Anže Burger, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences Ljubljana, Slovenia

                   Gordon Kerr, Cobden Partners, UK

                   Marko Pavlišič, Member of the Parliament, Slovenia

COFFEE BREAK (Sponsored by the Carantania Institute)

16:00-17:15 PANEL 2: Deregulation vs. Regulation: What brings an economy back on track?

The current Euro-zone crisis and recent financial turmoil have prompted many people to urge for greater banking and financial supervision in order to prevent future crises. Others have argued that deregulation is the best approach to unleash the powers of free enterprise. Who is right? Will more regulation help turn around an economy and its financial system? Or can we rely on the ‘invisible hand’ of the market to self-regulate? What is the best policy to help get Europe’s economies back on track?

Chair:         Dr. Katarina Zajc, Senior Fellow, Svetilnik, Slovenia

Podium:    Dr. Igor Masten, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics Ljubljana, Slovenia

                   Mag. Simon Mastnak, Director, Alta Group, Slovenia

                   Dr. Marko Malović, Associate Professor, Institute of Economic Sciences Belgrade, Serbia

COFFE BREAK (Sponsored by the Carantania Institute)

17:45-19:00 PANEL 3: Welfare vs. Opportunities: Can youth unemployment be solved with more state intervention — or more freedom?

Youth unemployment is today affecting many European economies. How can governments tackle youth unemployment given current budgetary constraints? What can European leaders do to create new employment opportunities without expanding the welfare state? What can be done for young people can be more entrepreneurial?

Chair:       Mag. Tanja Štumberger Porčnik, President, Svetilnik

Key note: Dr. Edward P. Stringham, Professor, Fayetteville State University, USA

Podium:   Dr. Žiga Turk, Former Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Slovenia

                  Dr. Tanja Kosi, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management Koper, Slovenia

                  John Chisholm, Member, Development Committee of the MIT Corporation, USA

Organizers and Sponsors

Free Market Road Show Ljubljana 2011 - 2015