Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union: How resilient, how future-proof is it today?

October 18, 2022, 6 pm, IHS Lecture Hall

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Speaker: Martin Selmayr

The euro, the EU’s single currency created by the Treaty of Maastricht 30 years ago, is an unprecedented experiment: while there is a single monetary policy for the euro, there continue to be different national economic and fiscal policies for the 19 and soon 20 EU Member States whose currency is the euro. This striking asymmetry has led many Anglo-saxon, but also German-speaking commentators to doubt time and again whether the euro will survive in crisis times. So far, the euro has withstood the test of time. Now, as the fall-out of the Covid-19 crisis and Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine weigh heavily on Europe’s economy, with inflation rates reaching historical highs and the danger of fragmentation again on the radar screen of policy-makers, the question is whether today, the euro is resilient enough to avoid another existential crisis; and whether the euro in the end can become a tool for strengthening Europe‘s geopolitical position, as it was originally intended when the euro was created.

Dr. Martin Selmayr is a Commission official since 2004 and worked before for the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Bertelsmann AG. From 2014 to 2018, he was Chief of Staff of Jean-Claude Juncker, then President of the European Commission, and was his sherpa during the negotiations of the stability support programme for Greece in 2015 and in the drafting of the Report on the Future of Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union, which President Juncker co-authored with Mario Draghi, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Donald Tusk and Martin Schulz. From 2018 to 2019, Selmayr was Secretary-General of the European Commission where he initiated, inter alia, a strategic Commission Communication on the international role of the euro. Today, he is the EU’s ambassador to Austria. In his (rare) spare time, he teaches EU law and notably economic and financial law at the Universities of Saarbrücken, Passau, Krems and Vienna. He is also the co-author of the book «The law of the European Central Bank» (in English and Italian) and co-editor of a leading commentary on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.


After a welcome address by Klaus Neusser (Scientific Director IHS) and opening remarks by Franz Fischler (President IHS), Martin Selmayr (Head of Representation of the European Commission in Austria) gives his lecture on Europe's Economic an Monetary Union. Following a public discussion chaired by Katrin Auel (Expert for European Governance and Public Finance IHS), we invite the audience to a reception with food and drinks.

Register here for the event

The Heinrich-Neisser-Lecture

is a public lecture series held once a year at IHS to discuss economic and social science issues with socio-political relevance. It is named in honor of Univ. Prof. Dr. Heinrich Neisser, who held top political positions in Austria, researched and taught as a social scientist at various universities, and played a key role in determining the fate of the Institute for many years as President of the IHS.