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Scotland Debates EU Economic Governance 31st May - 1st June 2012

On the 31st May - 1st June, leading European academics and officials got together at Edinburgh University to debate the future of Economic Governance in the EU.  The conference marked the first instance when such wide-ranging debates were held in Scotland.  During the event, sponsored by the European Commission and Edinburgh University's Europa Institute, a variety of issues ranging from social policies, competition law, Scotland's role in the EU, economic regulation and governance in the era of the crisis were discussed. Speakers included Scottish MEP Alyn Smith, who was a member of the European Parliament's Temporary Committee of Inquiry on the Financial Crisis, as well as a large number of other experts from the worlds of academia, government, journalism and banking.

Speakers on the first day of the event indicated that the economic crisis challenged the EU in ways where it had to become more rapid and flexible in its proceedings. The emergence of 'smart regulation' was highlighted as one of the ways in which the EU had to re-invent itself, for example to ease the administrative burden. Some speakers also stressed the importance of social policies, arguing that it would not only strengthen EU's legitimacy in these turbulent times, but also contribute to economic growth. During the second day, speakers discussed economic regulation and the role of the European Central Bank (ECB).  The approach of the EU towards banks started to change after the 2007 financial crisis, and nowadays it is moving towards maximum harmonisation of the banking systems' regulation.

An interview give by Amy Verdun (Professor and Chair of Political Science at the University of Victoria, in Victoria BC, Canada), the chair of one of the panels, to the BBC on the morning of the Conference can be found here.