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21st Brussels Economic Forum to commence

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21st Brussels Economic Forum to commence

BRussels
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Today marks the start of the 21st Brussels Economic Forum (BEF), an annual event by the European Commission (EC) to publicly deliberate the future of pan-European economic policy.

The forum will feature speeches from EC President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde among other.

The Eurozone economy is facing a myriad of new challenges since last year’s forum. The COVID-19 pandemic and an EU-wide inability to source vaccines or distribute economic aid has led to an economy clawing its way out from the grips of a deep recession. Widespread restrictions on movement and economic activity have meant that although significant resources have been earmarked and business optimism is high, Europe is still waiting for recovery to begin.

As vaccination rates increase throughout the bloc and countries begin reopening their economies, risks remain high. After a year of negotiations, the bloc took too long to roll out their $900 billion recovery fund, and with weak labor conditions, high public debts and the pandemic, such a delay creates the risk that Europe will stumble to recover in the short-term and fall into stagnation. Nevertheless, successful negotiations through avenues like the BEF will allow Europe to avoid this fate.

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