20 October 2016

Danish 'father of the euro' to head new eu fiscal body


The European Commission has appointed Professor Niels Thygesen of the University of Copenhagen to chair the European Fiscal Board, a brand new body set up to advise the Commission on fiscal matters.

Professor Emeritus Niels ThygesenThe European Commission has appointed Niels Thygesen, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Economics at the University of Copenhagen, and one of Denmark's most influential economists, as chair of the new European Fiscal Board (EFB). He takes up the three-year post on 1 November 2016.

The EFB will advise the Commission on the implementation of the rules laid down in the Stability and Growth Pact for the fiscal policies of member states. It will also assess whether the overall economic impact of the rules for national policies makes an appropriate contribution to a balanced policy for the eurozone as a whole.

The EFB is expected to play a role at European level similar to that performed by the Economic Council in Denmark, where impartial experts are involved in debates on national fiscal policy.

The members of the EBF will provide input into discussions about individual countries' fiscal policies, particularly about how they implement the rules in the Stability and Growth Pact. The Pact places a range of requirements on member states' economic policies and sets boundaries for parameters such as budget deficits and national debts.  Under the rules, financial penalties may be imposed on eurozone countries if they break these limits.

Veteran advisor

Niels Thygesen's four colleagues on the European Fiscal Board will be Professor Roel Beetsma of the University of Amsterdam, Professor Massimo Bordignon of the University of Milan, Mateusz Szczurek, former Minister of Finance in Poland and Sandrine Duchene, former advisor to President François Hollande, and currently a director of the French insurance company AXA.

Thygesen (82), a graduate of the University of Copenhagen and Harvard University, is a veteran economic-policy advisor at European and global level.  He was one of the impartial experts on the Delors Committee, 1988–89, which helped draw up the principles behind the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and is considered "the father of the euro" by fellow economists.

In 1998–99, he advised the International Monetary Fund on ways of monitoring the economies of the member states. During the period 2000–08, he chaired the Economic Development and Review Committee of the OECD, which publishes annual reports on the economies of individual OECD member countries and key partners. 


Emeritus Professor Niels Thygesen
Department of Economics
E-mail: nth@econ.ku.dk  
Phone: +45 35 32 30 06

Press Officer Janni Brixen
Faculty of Social Sciences
E-mail: jab@samf.ku.dk 
Phone: +45 93 56 52 57