Events > Conferences > Final Conference



undefinedDownload the Executive Summary of the WWWforEurope Synthesis Report

undefinedDownload the WWWforEurope Synthesis Report Part I

undefinedDownload the WWWforEurope Synthesis Report Part II


undefinedDownload Domenico Rossetti di Valdalbero's presentation

undefinedDownload the full text of Kenneth Arrow's speech

undefinedDownload Karl Aiginger's presentation

undefinedDownload Reinhilde Veugeler's presentation

undefinedDownload Thomas Leoni's presentation

undefinedDownload Friedrich Heinemann's presentation

undefinedDownload Thomas Sauer's presentation

undefinedDownload Marina Fischer-Kowalski's presentation

undefinedDownload Anton Hemerijck's comments

undefinedDownload Hans Pitlik's presentation

Franz Fischler (former EU Commissioner, European Forum Alpbach) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Monica Frassoni (European Green party) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Participants of the Policy Panel Discussion - Anton Hemerijck (VU University Amsterdam), Karl Aiginger (WIFO), Kurt Bayer (former executive director of the World Bank, WWWforEurope policy board member), Adam Posen (Peterson Institute for International Economics) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Hans Pitlik (WIFO) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Karmenu Vella (European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

We would like to thank the Austrian Chamber of Labour for kindly contributing to the financing of this conference.

Press releases

undefinedDownload the press release 2016-02-25 in English

undefinedDownload the press release 2016-02-25 in German

Media Coverage

A selection of the media coverage on the presentation of WWWforEurope's research results in Brussels.

undefinednews article: „Aiginger: Strategien für ‚Erfolgsmodell im Stress‘“, February 24th, 2016

undefinedKurier article: „WIFO-Chef: ‚Neue Idee für Wohlstand in Europa‘", February 25th, 2016

undefinedDie Presse article: „Wifo: EU-Länder müssen Steuern auf Faktor Arbeit halbieren“, February 25th, 2016

undefinedWirtschaftsblatt article: „Wir müssen die Steuern auf den Faktor Arbeit halbieren“, February 25th, 2016

undefinedDer Standard article: „Wifo fordert Halbierung der Steuern auf Arbeit“, February 25th, 2016

undefinedSalzburger Nachrichten article: „Wifo-Chef Aiginger fordert Halbierung der Steuern auf Arbeit“, February 25th, 2016

undefinedTiroler Tageszeitung article: „Wifo – Neuer Weg für EU über soziale und ökologische Innovation“, February 25th, 2016

undefinedAPA article: „EU braucht Sozial- und Wirtschaftsinnovationen“, February 25th, 2016

undefinedDe Standaard article: „Voer taxshift in heel Europa door“, February 25th, 2016

undefinedDie Presse article: „Konjunktur: Die falsche Medizin“, February 25th, 2016

undefinedKurier article: „Rette sich, wer kann führt in die Anarchie“, February 26th, 2016 article: „Das Streben nach Bruttonationalglück“, February 26th, 2016

undefinedClick here for the full media coverage and more

Karl Aiginger (WIFO) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Peter Dröll (DG-RTD) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Domenico Rossetti di Valdalbero (DG Research and Innovation) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Welcoming Message by Kenneth Arrow (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Reinhilde Veugelers (KU Leuven) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Thomas Leoni (WIFO) © WIFO

Friedrich Heinemann (ZEW) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Thomas Sauer (University of Applied Sciences Jena) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

Marina Fischer-Kowalski (Alpen Adria University, SEC) (click to enlarge) © WIFO

WWWforEurope Final Conference


WWWforEurope Final Conference

Brussels, Belgium, February 25th, 2016

Hotel Silken Berlaymont, Boulevard Charlemagne 11


undefinedDownload the programme as a PDF file

Conference Speakers


Marking the end of the project, the WWWforEurope Final Conference took place on February 25th, 2016, in Brussels. The key results and the synthesis of four years of research by 34 research institutions were presented at the conference to the European Commission and a large variety of stakeholders. A lively discussion among politicians, stakeholders and researchers made the Final Conference a full success and mirrored the high interest and relevance of the project’s topics.

Welcoming Adresses/Keynotes

After the conference was opened by project coordinator Karl Aiginger, director of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), Peter Dröll of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG –RTD) held a welcoming address. Peter Dröll emphasised the importance of the project’s issues and their relevance for Europe’s future development.

In his welcoming remark, WWWforEurope project officer Domenico Rossetti di Valdalbero, DG for Research and Innovation, highlighted the relevance of a new strategy for Europe towards a socio-ecological transition and referring to the challenges and developments Europe has to face in a changing world.

undefinedDownload Domenico Rossetti's presentation

Kenneth Arrow - Welcoming Address WWWforEurope Final Conference from WIFO on Vimeo.

The welcoming remarks were concluded by a video message by Nobel laureate Kenneth Joseph Arrow, in which he adressed the uniqueness and difficulty of Europe trying to unify sovereign, well-organised states, in contrast to historical large states unifying and growing by conquest or expansion into lightly populated areas.

Kenneth Arrow put emphasis on inequality and climate change as the issues most in need to immediate action and called special attention to WWWforEurope's call for a broader set of criteria by which policy recommendations should be judged.

undefinedDownload the full text of the speech

Session 1: Summary of the Main Results of the Project

In the first session of the Final Conference Karl Aiginger (WIFO) talked about the main results of the WWWforEurope project.

undefinedDownload the presentation

The focus of the project is on reaching the three goals of economic dynamics, social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability by applying three guiding principles (simultaneity between goals, a high-road approach and a two-stage implementation) and seven drivers of change (innovation, dynamics, welfare, labour, energy use, public sector and financial sector). To be successful, long-term strategies as well as a benchmark beyond GDP are necessary.

undefinedDownload the Executive Summary of the Synthesis Report

Session 2: How to Combine Environmental Concerns with Dynamics and Innovation

The importance of green innovations in a transition process was addressed by Reinhilde Veugelers (KU Leuven) in the second session. Her presentation stressed the importance of green innovations and the right policy design to boost both public and private innovations.

undefinedDownload the presentation

Session 3: Social Investment

Thomas Leoni (WIFO) dealt with the social investment approach, according to which the focus of European welfare states should shift from a protective perspective to social investment and activation, especially in times when welfare states are under pressure.

undefinedDownload the presentation

Session 4: Reform Resistance and Reform Strategies

To understand the current political situation in Europe and as prerequisite for the successful implementation of fundamental reforms, the underlying causes for reform resistance and reform strategies need to be identified. The relevant WWWforEurope research was presented by Friedrich Heinemann (ZEW Mannheim).

undefinedDownload the presentation

Session 5: The Regional Dimension of Socio-Ecological Transition

Dealing with the regional dimension of a socio-ecological transition was another research area of the WWWforEurope project. Thomas Sauer (University of Applied Sciences Jena) gave an overview over the results, encompassing the role of cities, urban resource systems, regional labour markets, and integration policies in a socio-ecological transition.

undefinedDownload the presentation

Session 6: Socio-Ecological Transition in a Historical Perspective

Marina Fischer-Kowalski (Alpen Adria University, Klagenfurt, and Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna) dedicated her presentation to socio-ecological transition in a historical perspective, which shows that a decoupling of energy use from GDP growth has happened and is therefore possible.

undefinedDownload the presentation

Session 7: Wrap-Up

The President of European Forum Alpbach and former EU Commissioner Franz Fischler and the Co-Chair of the European Green Party Monica Frassoni wrapped up the conference.

Franz Fischler, who is also member of the WWWforEurope policy board, referred to the importance of the project’s main results for Europe’s policy making and added an eighth driver of change – “leadership” – which he claimed as essential to creating a new European narrative. Monica Frassoni reported about current social and environmental topics on Europe’s policy agenda as well as about the attention these topics have to get for creating a sustainable and inclusive Europe.

Policy Panel Discussion

The Policy Panel Discussion of the Final Conference was chaired by former Executive Director of the World Bank and WWWforEurope policy board member Kurt Bayer. The discussion featured Karl AigingerAnton Hemerijck (VU University Amsterdam), and Adam Posen (Peterson Institute for International Economics).

As Karl Aiginger talked about concrete policy advices, Anton Hemerijck brought in his expertise in social policy and the value of social investment policies for the European Union. Adam Posen offered the US-American perspective on the current European situation and on the proposals of the WWWforEurope projects.

undefinedDownload Anton Hemerijck's comments

Results of Opinion Survey

Last but not least, Hans Pitlik (WIFO) presented the results of an opinion survey about the WWWforEurope project outcomes and policy proposals. The survey shows that six out of ten policy recommendations derived from the project reach an agreement rate of over 80% and that worldviews matter in the acceptance of these policy recommendations.

undefinedDownload the presentation

Closing Remarks

European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella closed the Final Conference with his remarks. The Commissioner talked about the current initiatives on his policy agenda. The fragility of the environmental system in general and of the maritime ecosystem in particular is one of the serious concerns the Commissioner is dealing with.

WWWforEurope is the ideal project to raise the awareness of policy makers and citizens about the fragility of these systems, as one of the WWWforEurope project’s goals is bringing environmental and social issues back to the focus of policy making, next to economic concerns.