Former IEE-ULB President, Professor André Sapir, joined the 8-member High-Level Advisory Group on post-COVID economic and social challenges, created to reflect on the main economic and social challenges the European economy will face in the post-COVID environment.

The High-Level Advisory Group, convened on the initiative of EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, “will provide inputs to the conceptual work that underpins DG ECFIN’s activities in this area,” according to a note published by the European Commission. Their first meeting took place on February 12, 2021, date of the formal adoption of NextGenerationEU, an ambitious policy instrument that aims to respond to the economic and social impact of the pandemic.

“The medium- to longer-term impact of the pandemic on both the economy and society remains to be seen. The High-Level Advisory Group will provide innovative analysis on these issues, to enrich debate and inform future policy choices,” says the Commission.

The High-Level Advisory Group membership

  • Professor Carlo Carraro, President Emeritus and Professor of Environmental Economics at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
  • Benoit Cœuré, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub, Bank for International Settlements
  • Otilia Dhand, Managing Director, Teneo
  • Barry Eichengreen, George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
  • Melinda Mills, Nuffield Professor of Sociology and Director, Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, University of Oxford
  • Hélène Rey, Lord Raj Bagri Professor of Economics, London Business School
  • André Sapir, Professor, Institut d’études européennes, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Daniela Schwarzer, Director, German Council on Foreign Relations

The High-Level Advisory Group is to produce a report, “looking at issues including, among others, the implications of the pandemic for the real economy and the twin transitions; financial systems; the role of the private and public sectors in promoting investments and a resilient and sustainable economy; the place of European values in the international division of labour; and changes in society and working patterns.”

The first results will feed the discussions of the 2021Brussels Economic Forum, which will take place at the end of June. DG ECFIN says the group’s insights will be discussed at a series of events during the second half of the year, “ending with the Annual Research Conference in mid-November.”

It is expected that an edited volume containing the group’s final report and the analytical papers presented at the aforementioned events will be published by a major academic publisher. The group completes its activities by the end of 2021.

The High-Level Advisory Group will complete its activities by the end of 2021.

The Commission’s Directorate‑General for Economic and Financial Affairs is responsible for the EU Commission’s policies promoting economic growth, higher employment, stable public finances and financial stability.

About André Sapir

Professor André Sapir is former President of the Institute for European Studies of the ULB and current Guest Professor and member of its Strategic Council. He is also Senior Fellow at Bruegel and Research Fellow of the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research. He is Member of the Academia Europaea and of the Royal Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.

Between 1990 and 2004, Professor Sapir was Economic Advisor to the Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission, and then Principal Economic Advisor to President Prodi, whose Economic Advisory Group he led. In 2004, he published ‘An Agenda for a Growing Europe’, (known as the ‘Sapir report’) an independent expert report to the president of the Commission. After the EC, became External Member of President Barroso’s Economic Advisory Group and then Member of the General Board (and Chair of the Advisory Scientific Committee) of the European Systemic Risk Board based at the European Central Bank, in Frankfurt.

Photo: Aurore Delsoir