The Austrian Economics Center (AEC), in cooperation with over 100 leading think-tanks and universities across Europe and the Caucasus, and in association with international partners such as the Global Philanthropic Trust, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Americans for Tax Reform, Competitive Enterprise Institute, World Taxpayers Associations, European Students for Liberty, and the F.A. v. Hayek Institut, are proud to present the 11th Annual Free Market Road Show, which tours 40 capitals during April and May in Europe and the Caucasus – from Scandinavia to the Balkans, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea.
Introductory Note by
Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
Photo: Georges Schneider/BMEIA
The European Union is based on common values such as respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. The EU has helped to spread democracy, stability, security and prosperity across most of the continent and beyond. Even though Europe and the European Union are part of a perpetually changing world, these values represent continuity and should give guidance in times of change.
Change often goes hand in hand with new challenges, and they are manifold today, ranging from establishing a healthy economic climate to providing social security, from guaranteeing cultural diversity to pursuing sustainable integration, from fighting poverty to furthering prosperity and combatting climate change.
In order to successfully deal with these challenges, we need to build on the progress and the achievements of the European Union. At the same time we must be mindful of what lies ahead and how we can deal with the challenges. We need to reinforce the confidence of the citizens in the European project so that they can identify themselves with the EU and will therefore strive to further develop the EU for the purpose of making it more efficient.
In this context, it is our responsibility to uphold prosperity and a high standard of living. This is only possible if Europe remains competitive, if it can offer a solid basis for entrepreneurship and is able to keep pace with developments especially in the era of digitalisation.
With this in mind, I wish you all fruitful, interesting and thought-provoking discussions and a successful “Free Market Road Show” 2018.
Introductory Note by
Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
Over the last couple of years the European Union has been faced by numerous challenges. However these challenges to European unity and to the performance of the European market also present an opportunity to tackle the shortcomings of our Union by creating through their solution an even closer community, based on our common values such as the rule of law and the free market.
Considering threats such as Brexit as opportunities for continuous enhancement, gives us, the citizens of the European Union, the possibility to envision and shape our community – a community, which is in my point of view, first and foremost a community of values.
Combined with its strong internal market, the European Union has become an important player on the world stage. To remain at this level, we need active citizens, an active business community and an active Civil Society to contribute to a – at times difficult – dialogue on our future vision of our European Union.
The Free Market Road Show provides the occasion to learn more on the interrelation of entrepreneurship, business, trade and values. I am confident that the conferences will contribute to a broader understanding of the internal European Market and Europe´s position in today´s world.
Dr. Johannes Hahn