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  • 7th ECB conference on central, eastern and south-eastern European (CESEE) countries

Institutional quality and sustainable economic convergence

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Main Building, European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main
Press room


Welcome address

Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank


Session 1 The catching-up processes in CESEE countries: Experiences and drivers

Chair: Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank

Watch Session 1
Watch Summary Video Session 1

CESEE countries – of which 11 are by now in the EU and five in the euro area – started a process of convergence in income per capita towards the rest of Europe in the early 1990s. Where do we stand now? How did the global and euro area crises affect this process, in terms of both its pace and its sustainability? To what extent were the convergence dynamics coupled with economic inclusion? What have been the ultimate drivers of the catching-up process? Can significantly different country paths be identified (e.g. in terms of institutional quality and degree of integration in global value chains), or did common factors such as structural transformation prevail? How did the incorporation of the acquis communautaire, as well as EU/euro area membership, affect the process? And how has real convergence interacted with nominal convergence and institutional quality over the past 25 years?

Keynote speakers

  • Sergei Guriev, Chief Economist, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Panel discussion

  • Erkki Liikanen, Governor, Suomen Pankki – Finlands Bank
  • Dimitar Bogov, Governor, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia
  • Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) and former Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
  • Boštjan Jazbec, Governor, Banka Slovenije

Open floor discussion


Buffet lunch


Session 2 Challenges and policies to attain sustainable economic convergence in CESEE countries

Chair: Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank

Watch Session 2
Watch Summary Video Session 2

This session will take a more forward-looking perspective, exploring various policy issues. After having reaped some of the low-hanging fruits of economic convergence, are some CESEE countries already facing the risk of middle-income traps? Do weaknesses in institutional quality and the business environment raise challenges to per capita income growth looking ahead? What are the implications of still significant net migration outflows in several countries? What scope is there for a more efficient and effective use of structural/cohesion funds? Which structural and/or macroeconomic policies are conducive to fostering sustainable economic convergence? What role could be played by the deepening of the EU Single Market, as well as the implementation of the recommendations on convergence made in the Five Presidents' Report and the Reflection Paper on Deepening of EMU?

Keynote speakers

  • Jörg Decressin, Deputy Director European Department, International Monetary Fund
  • István Székely, Director, Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission

Panel discussion

Open floor discussion

End of conference

This programme may be subject to change without notice.

General information

Conference venue

European Central Bank
Main building, Press room
Sonnemannstrasse 20
60314 Frankfurt am Main

+49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000

Conference language



Participants are requested to arrange their own transfers unless indicated otherwise.


Simone Suckfüll
Directorate General Economic Developments
+49 69 1344 5126

Li Savelin
Directorate General International and European Relations
+49 69 1344 6101

Entela Lenja
Directorate General Communications
+49 69 1344 6781

Conference photos