Economics Days, seeing the world differently, starting today

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The thirteenth edition of the Days of the Economy (Jeco) focuses this year on the major issues induced by the current economic and health situation. Through 49 conferences, this national Lyon event attracts more people each year. By 2019, Economy Days had received no less than 50,000 participants. This year, the format varies slightly with live lectures, Covid obliges. However, the event does not lose sight of its purpose and its raison d’être, more alive than ever. It will therefore revolve around the question of “reinvent progress together” (1). It will examine the economic and social phenomena generated by the Covid-19 crisis.

Helping in the short term, investing in the long term: the uncertain equation of solidarity in the face of efficiency

At present, states have mainly sought to respond urgently to support the economy in the short term. However, the stakes lie elsewhere as the situation is likely to drag on for many months to come. Also, it is a whole strategy of restructuring the economy that is to be implemented. Aiming both to maintain social protection actions as well as to draw the new face of the economy to prepare for the future.

A balancing act between solidarity and economic sustainability that requires a good welfare system, an effective redistributive policy and a reasonable poverty rate. Add to this the issues related to the energy transition that can no longer be ignored, a weakening of employment, a reluctance of investment and innovation and a predictable fiscal tension… The economic costs of this crisis therefore go beyond mere support.

Thus, aware that this test must also be the opportunity for profound change, EU states agree on a green recovery plan (2). The European Union’s recovery effort now stands at EUR 2,364.3 billion. It includes the 750 million voted on 21 July under the Next Generation EU instrument; EUR 1,074.3 billion budget for 2021-2027 to support investments in digital and energy transitions; or the EUR 540 billion already in place for safety nets for workers, businesses and Member States.

economic recovery, digital and ecological transition to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
The European Union’s green recovery plan aims in particular to accelerate the digital and energy transition, and to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are tying the economy.

The economic band-aid strategy, who will pay the debt?

In France in France, the stimulus package announced in September 2020 provides 100 billion euros to recover the national economy. Assistance for individuals, businesses and communities (3). Here, too, the axes are in line with European policy: ecology, competitiveness and cohesion. Youth hiring assistance, training, partial activity, investment in transformation, connectivity of rural areas, urban renewal… There are many fields of action to pass the course on all fronts. In addition, regional aid schemes such as the National Solidarity Fund. The New Aquitaine Region contributes 38 million euros to support businesses (4).

Despite the impressive amounts raised, the face of finance seems to be about to change profoundly. It is difficult to know to date who will be responsible for repaying the debt in all the countries of the world. With the best will in the world, it seems tricky to count on a bailout of the coffers through the traditional means used. Except to enter a period of austerity that would put a further brake on a possible economic recovery as had been the case in 2008.

Sources

  1. Press kit “Economics Days – 17, 18, 19 November 2020 – Lyon”
  2. “COVID-19: EU reaction to economic impact”, Consilium Europa
  3. Recovery plan, Economy.gov
  4. Aid to businesses and associations, Businesses in New Aquitaine
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