It is my pleasure to present to you the new issue of the Aspen Review quarterly titled State vs. Economy. The relationship between state and economy has always been a topic of heated debates among politicians, economists, businesses and expert community. What is the right proportion of state interference in economy? How much state do we need? Can state interventions stimulate growth or do they harm it? Although these are notorious questions, it is still important to discuss them, taking into account current economic situation in many European countries.
In his article How to Speed up Growth in Europe, Witold Gadomski asks why politicians’ plans to speed up economic growth so often end up in economic stagnation and risks of future crises. The economic editor at Gazeta Wyborcza mentions short-term thinking of politicians as one of the main problems. The same reason was pointed out during this year’s edition of Aspen Young Leaders Program by Ivan Mikloš, former Slovak Minister of Finance, who steered the country through challenging economic reforms and currently advises the government in Kiev. Ukraine is also a topic of an interview with Polish political scientist Włodzimierz Marciniak, which you will find on the following pages.
Discussing the role of state in the European Union brings us to another persisting question— do we need a European state? Two renowned thinkers, Professor Brendan Simms from the University of Cambridge and Marek Cichocki from the Natolin European Centre in Warsaw are looking at the question from different perspectives and come to some very intriguing conclusions.
What is crucial about the debate on the future of European politics and economy is that the discussion is open and involves all sectors of society. Let me name one up-to- date example—the Digital Single Market, whose strategy has been recently unveiled by the European Commission. Our Institute closely follows digital agenda, and has recently organized an expert policy meeting in Prague, which brought together Czech and Slovak State Secretaries for European Affairs and representatives of business, public administration, and an expert community.
Our Institute will continue debating digital agenda further on. In July we will elevate the topic from regional to European level, where we organize a policy seminar with the European Commissioner Věra Jourová, MEPs active in digital agenda, Heads of Permanent Representations, and other distinguished guests from expert and business communities.
In June and the summer we will also focus on another key topic in our agenda, which is the impact of the arts, culture and creative industries on the future of cities. This area will culminate in November during the second edition of the Creative Placemaking Festival. This fall we organize the Aspen Annual Conference as well, which will assess the state of the Czech Republic in terms of several strategic indicators, such as security, economic potential or quality of life. For more information about the Institute’s activities please follow our website and our social networks. I look forward to meeting you at our events.
I wish you a stimulating reading.
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