On 4 November 2013, Jörg Asmussen, then member of the ECB Executive Board and former state secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, held a lecture as part of the IEP Lunch Debate series (full report). Asmussen focused on the requirements of a future banking union in conjunction with a fiscal union and emphasized the need for Europe to take the U.S. as example and establish a banking union with the two essential elements the common supervisory mechanism and the common resolution mechanism as soon as possible. Such a banking union, which must be open for states beyond the euro zone, could absorb external shocks and reduce the burden on taxpayers by reducing the need for rescue by national budgets. Asmussen also stressed the need to harmonize tax regimes in Europe, particularly with regard to corporate tax.
On 2 December 2013, Rebecca Harms, party chairman of the Greens in the EP, held a lecture as part of the IEP Lunch Debate series (full report). Harms related her experiences from a visit to Ukraine, pointed to the rise of euroskeptical sentiments and, correspondingly, of anti-European populist parties as one of the biggest challenges for European politics in the coming years and stressed the need to regain citizens’ trust in light of the financial crisis. Furthermore, Harms criticized the relative insignificance of climate and energy policy in the current European debate and raised concerns regarding possible adverse effects of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTPI) between the EU and the U.S.