Fiscal policy and public debt, income and wealth inequality in Europe, the prospects for a European fiscal union – these topics are at the heart of current academic and policy debates against the backdrop of the euro crisis. The fourth annual conference of the SEEK (Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies) research programme at ZEW on May 15 and 16, 2014, will address these issues. Professor Thomas Piketty, Paris School of Economics, will deliver a keynote speech on May 16, 11:30 a.m. Piketty’s book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" has jumped onto the New York Times bestseller list and is the current No. 1 on Amazon in the US. In his keynote, Piketty will discuss his book, in which he issues a warning about the growing gulf between rich and poor. Professor Andreas Peichl, head of ZEW's Research Group "International Distribution and Redistribution", will host the subsequent discussion.

In the “Politics Meets Science” forum on the first conference day, two former and one current Ministers of Finance (Hans Eichel, former German Minister of Finance, Vitor Gaspar, former Portuguese Minister of Finance, and Nils Schmid, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Finance and Economics) will discuss their point of view. Some 150 participants from the areas of politics, business, science, and public administration are expected at the event.

You can watch the conference and all keynotes in the live stream from May 15, 1:00 p.m.