Economic convergence and funding of growth in the CEE EU Member States

  • Conference Call
  • The Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) of the European Commission is organizing a one-day workshop on 16 January 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. The workshop aims at improving the understanding of the determinants and prospects for the financing of economic convergence in the central and eastern European (CEE) EU Member States after the crisis.

    Workshop Theme and Topics

    The convergence process in the CEE countries has been significantly supported by rapid financial deepening and, in some countries, particularly driven by strengthening of banking links with the core EU Member States. Nonetheless, while favourable financing conditions contributed to a rapid catching-up in the pre-crisis period, the turbulences in capital markets seen since 2007 exposed a number of challenges regarding sufficient funding (domestic and/or external) for sustainable growth going forward. Related to this, the changed financial landscape during the crisis may have affected potential growth rates – and the macroeconomic outlook reaching far beyond the crisis period.

    Against this background, the workshop should discuss the key vulnerabilities and challenges associated with the past model of financial development in the CEE region. The main channels affecting funding conditions in the CEE should be analysed including both external factors (e.g. changes in global risk appetite), domestic factors (e.g. development of local markets, bank and non-bank channels) as well as the role of the EU policies/integration (including euro area membership).

    The workshop will target applied and empirical papers. The main focus of the contributions should be on the CEE EU Member States that have not yet adopted the euro and/or on recent euro area entrants. Papers should preferably concentrate on cross-country and quantitative analyses.

    In order to organize this workshop, the Commission invites those researchers, academics and policy makers interested in this event to submit their contributions addressing the below described topics:

    Funding of economic convergence in the CEE region in recent years

    A review of the growth drivers in the CEE in order to determine if any general lessons can be drawn. The contributions should analyse the role played by global versus country-specific factors (including an analysis of the role of the foreign banking sector) – while highlighting the likely impact of domestic (macro, micro and financial sector) and EU policies – on funding of economic growth, shaping the sectoral growth patterns and – in some countries – to increasing domestic imbalances;

    Funding of growth in the CEE during the crisis

    Changes in funding flows that occurred during the recent crisis period have significantly affected mechanics of economic growth – including credit creation and monetary transmission. Contributions should identify what determines financing/credit activity, which types of lending are the most resilient, and where key tension points in the behaviour of banks emerged. Effects specifically related to integration into the euro area could also be examined, for instance what difference the euro (or the access to the ECB's refinancing) has made for financing of growth in recent euro area entrants; 

    Prospects beyond the crisis

    Papers should evaluate whether the recent crisis implies a structural shift in funding of economic growth (regarding e.g. the issue     of FX lending and development of local markets, investors' behaviour/risk pricing) and in shaping the sectoral growth patterns before examining possible future trajectories for catching up process/potential growth in the CEE region. The impact of changes in financing conditions on real economy as well as the role that could be played by domestic (fiscal, monetary, financial) as well as EU policies in ensuring a smooth catching-up trajectory should be evaluated (including the potential role of euro adoption).

    General information and conditions

    The workshop will include at most six to nine presentations, based on paper submissions, followed by the comments of discussants and a general exchange of views among the participants.

    Selected authors will be required to electronically send a full draft version of their paper to DG ECFIN by 13 December 2012 and to present it at the workshop on 16 January 2013. The final version of the paper should be submitted electronically by 28 February 2013.

    The final papers will have to be original work created in response to this call for papersand should roughly be 15,000 – 20,000 words in length.

    Paper and Travel Grants

    In accordance with the conditions of the purchase order, the Commission intends to pay a fee of € 4,000 per selected and presented paper of acceptable quality. The Commission will arrange and pay for travel, accommodation and a daily allowance of € 92.00 per day of workshop for one speaker per paper to present it at the workshop in Brussels, irrespective of whether the paper is authored or co-authored. The travel arrangements will be made via a travel agency, acting on behalf of the Commission.


    We invite the submission of preliminary drafts (of minimum 5000 words) related to the above mentioned topics. Papers can be co-authored.

    The preliminary drafts must be submitted electronically together with

    • curriculum vitae of the (co-) author(s); 
    • list of publications of the (co-)author(s);
    • signed proxy form(s), in case of co-authorship (proxy form)
    • clear information on the entity (person or institution) that will be signing the contract in case of award. Please be informed that the following documents will need to be provided, should the candidate be awarded a contract:
      - Legal entity form
      - Financial identification form

    to, clearly mentioning in the subject line of the e-mail the topic of the paper. This mailbox is reserved solely for submissions. Submissions sent to other mailboxes or to Commission staff cannot be accepted. No other communication should be addressed to this mailbox.

    Publication and copyright

    Conditional on the quality of the papers, they could be published in a volume collecting the workshop proceedings. The Commission will retain the copyright.

    Award criteria

    The evaluation of the papers will be based on the following criteria:

    • Clarity of the submission as assessed by the precision with which it (i) explains how the topic will be addressed, (ii) discusses the theoretical and empirical techniques that will be used to analyse specific issues, and (iii) explains the policy relevance of this analysis.
    • Quality of the submission as measured by its potential to provide robust economic analysis that offers value-added vis-à-vis the existing academic literature on the drivers of economic convergence/funding of the catching-up process and relevance for policy-making.
    • Standing of the author/co-authors as demonstrated by academic excellence and a track record of publishing research on issues related in leading journals. To facilitate this assessment, the submission should include an up-to-date curriculum vitae for the author/co-authors.
    • Potential to form the basis of a fruitful exchange among the workshop participants.

    Award process

    The submissions will be evaluated and ranked. The procedure is expected to be completed by mid-November 2012. Candidates will be informed in due time of the outcome of the selection and award procedure.

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