Free Market Road Show 2015

On Monday, April 13, 2015 at Best Western Premier Hotel Slon, Slovenska cesta 34, Ljubljana we proudly kicked off the 8th Free Market Road Show®, which is organized by over 90 leading think tanks and universities and in association with international partners such as the Austrian Economics Center, Liberty Fund, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and European Students for Liberty. The 2015 Free Market Road Show® brought together leading businessmen, scholars, opinion makers, public policy experts, elected officials, diplomats, students and other interested parties from across Europe and the world to discuss the kind of Europe its citizens want to develop. 

14:00 – 14:15 WELCOME

Mrs. Tanja Porčnik, President, Svetilnik

Dr Barbara Kolm, President, Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institute

14:15 – 15:15 PANEL 1: ECONOMY - OVERCOMING STAGNATION (the panel shall be in English)

Using 2013 GDP growth figures (2014 were not available); real GDP growth in the European Union was 0.01%, while in the Euro area it was -0.5%. Some of Europe’s largest economies, such as the United Kingdom and France, experienced twin deficits – budget balance and current account balance. It is argued that the welfare state not only burdens future generations but also appears to be on the brink of collapse. Meanwhile, policymakers seem to be detached from the real causes of this worrisome situation, carrying on with further centralisation and increasing regulation in Europe’s economy. What recipe does Europe need to turn around the trend of a free fall and to experience economic growth, the latter leading to higher standards of living and the elimination of the remaining pockets of poverty? Is the solution a liberalisation of the economy, structural reforms, balanced budgets, lower tariffs, taxes and subsidies?

Dr Jure Stojan, Senior Fellow, Svetilnik (Moderator)

Dr Andrzej Rzońca, Member, Monetary Policy Council at the Polish National Bank

Mr. Manfred Kastner, President of the Board, Vision MicroFinance

Mr. Oliver Rothschild, Chairman, Oliver Rothschild Corporate Advisors

Mr. Christof Zeller-Zellenberg, President, Europa Institute

Dr Barbara Kolm, President, Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institute

Dr Ekkart Zimmermann, Emeritus, Dresden University of Technology

15:45 – 16:45 PANEL 2: FOREIGN INVESTMENT - FROM AN ENEMY TO A FRIEND (the panel shall be in English)

Slovenia has for years been unfriendly towards foreign investment; which has had a negative impact on economic growth, employment, and wellbeing. There are multiple reasons for this position, from vast political interest in owning and controlling the Slovenian economy to having one of the world’s most rigid labour markets, an excessively regulated economy, and an investment unfriendly tax code. Which institutional and policy changes need to be made to open Slovenia to foreign investment?

Dr Anže Burger, Senior Fellow, Svetilnik (Moderator)

Dr Peter Hasslacher, Director, Advantage Austria

Mr. Radovan Ďurana, Analyst, INESS

Mr. Ivan Jovetić, Senior Analyst, Institute for Studies and Projections

Mr. Roland Fritz, Research Fellow, Austrian Economics Center


Ugodno poslovno okolje je pogoj za gospodarsko rast, napredek in blaginjo državljanov. Naloga države je, da ustvari okolje naklonjeno ustvarjalnosti, podjetnosti in podjetništvu. Slovenija je žal že dalj časa priča begu fizičnega in človeškega kapitala v tujino. Kako obrniti trend in v Sloveniji ustvariti poslovno okolje, ki bo povrnil našo konkurenčnost? Kateri so predlogi za bolj fleksibilen trg dela, manj regulirano gospodarstvo, nižjo obdavčitev dela in manjši obseg državnega lastništva v gospodarstvu?

A business-friendly environment is the precondition of economic growth, progress, innovation and rising wellbeing of of a countries citizens. As Slovenia is witnessing an exodus of physical and human capital due to a rigid labour market, over-regulated economy, high taxation and excessive scope of state ownership in the economy, its global competitiveness is diminishing. How can Slovenia create a friendlier business environment -- with start-up zones or keeping the regulators as distant as possible from entrepreneurs?

Mrs. Tanja Porčnik, predsednica Svetilnika (moderatorka)

Mr. Marjan Batagelj, predsednika Kluba slovenskih podjetnikov

Mr. Tomaž Butina, član upravnega odbora KD Group d.d.

Mr. Goran Novković, svetovalec generalnega direktorja Gospodarske zbornice Slovenije

Mrs. Tanja Porčnik, President, Svetilnik (Moderator)

Mr. Marjan Batagelj, President, Slovenian Business Club

Mr. Tomaž Butina, Member, Supervisory Board, KD Group d.d.

Mr. Goran Novković, CEO adviser, Slovenian Chamber of Commerce


Mrs. Tanja Porčnik, President, Visio Institute

Organizers and Sponsors

Free Market Road Show Ljubljana 2011 - 2015