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Fixing Europe Dialogue 1: Roger Bootle and Philippe Legrain

LSE European Institute ‘Fixing Europe’ dialogue series 

Date: Monday 12 May 2014
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Venue:  Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Roger Bootle, Philippe Legrain
Chair: Professor Maurice Fraser

A double book launch and debate. Roger Bootle's book The Trouble with Europe: Why the EU isn't working - How it can be reformed - What could take its place argues that the EU has a profound identity crisis. No one is clear what the EU is for, or how ‘ever closer union’ can be matched with expanding geographical horizons and huge disparities of income and culture. We can – and should - attempt to reform the EU. Without fundamental reform, some countries may withdraw – or the EU may even break up. What are the alternatives for the EU if there were a Brexit? Bootle offers a bracing and rigorous analysis of alternatives: different models for political and economic relations between the UK and Europe, and most importantly alternative political and institutions that could serve Europe – and the world – better in the future. Philippe Legrain's book European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right argues that Britain and the rest of Europe are in a mess. Our economies are failing to deliver higher living standards for most people and many have lost faith in politicians' ability to deliver a brighter future, with support for parties like UKIP soaring. Are stagnation, decline and disillusionment inevitable? Do people have to turn to the likes of UKIP for alternative solutions? 

Roger Bootle is one of the City of London’s best-known economists. As well as running Capital Economics, which he founded in 1999, Roger is also a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. He was formerly Group Chief Economist of HSBC and, under the previous Conservative government, he was appointed one of the Chancellor’s panel of Independent Economic Advisers, the so-called “Wise Men’. In 2012, Roger and a team from Capital Economics won the Wolfson Prize, the second biggest prize in Economics after the Nobel. Roger Bootle studied at Oxford University and then became a Lecturer in Economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Most of his subsequent career has been spent in the City of London.

Philippe Legrain was independent economic adviser to the President of the European Commission and head of the team that provides President Barroso with strategic policy advice from February 2011 until February 2014. Before that, he was a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute and an independent consultant and commentator. He has also been special adviser to the Director General of the World Trade Organisation; chief economist of Britain in Europe, the pro-European campaign; editor of the magazine of the World Economic Forum; and trade and economics correspondent for The Economist. He is now setting up a new think-tank, OPEN: the Open Political Economy Network. Philippe is the author of three critically acclaimed books, Open World: The Truth about Globalisation (2002), Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them (2007), which was shortlisted for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year award, and Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy after the Crisis (2010). His new book, European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right, is published on 24 April.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEfixingEurope

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