Conference at the College of Europe Bruges: ‘After the Bailout: how the post-programmes countries have fared’


This conference will take place on 24 February 2017 at the Bruges Campus of the College of Europe (Auditorium 1, Verversdijk 16, College of Europe, Bruges). Registration is required on the College of Europe’s website.

After the global financial crisis threatened the breakdown of the international financial system, the euro area came under threat. The countries collectively referred to as the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) suffered from severe market pressure that resulted in bailout programmes financed by the euro area, EU member states, and the IMF that were accompanied by strict conditionality. The objective of this conference is to investigate how countries have fared politically and economically after embarking on their adjustment programme. For countries that have exited their programme, were their respective exits timely or premature? Had the conditionality programmes contributed to long-term sustainability and provided the necessary foundation for future economic growth? Have the respective governments followed policies that are broadly consistent with those advocated by these conditionality programmes? What about the popular backlash against the austerity that accompanied them? Finally, what is the broader political legacy of the bailout programmes?


13:30 Conference registration

14:00-14:15 Welcome address by Rector Jӧrg Monar, College of Europe

 15:00 Keynote address by Istvan Pal Szekely, Director, DG ECFIN, European Commission

15:00-16:00 Panel 1 The Institutional perspective: Conditionality and its aftermath

Chair: Michele Chang, College of Europe

Daniel Daco, European Commission

Gabriel Glӧckler, European Central Bank

Silvia Merler, Bruegel


16:00-16:30 Coffee break

16:30-18:00 Panel 2 The national perspective: Did the adjustment programmes help or harm?

Chair: Eric De Souza, College of Europe

Kevin Cardiff, European Court of Auditors

Federico Steinberg, Real Institute Elcano

Francisco Torres, London School of Economics

Georges Pagoulatos, Athens University of Economics and Business


18:00-18:10 Closing remarks by Michele Chang, College of Europe