Day of Progressive Economic Policy 2024

Congress | 20 March 2024 in Berlin and online | #tpw24

Circumstances have changed significantly for progressive economic policy in Germany, Europe and the world. European economies’ economic and growth models need to be adapted to the new reality.

What are the economic effects of continuing inflation, the ongoing war in Ukraine and geopolitical shifts at German, European and global level? Will the comprehensive recovery packages be followed by a strict austerity policy? What kind of economic policy is needed to reduce inequality, ensure decent jobs and actively foster climate neutrality?

The Day of Progressive Economic Policy 2024 provides a platform for discussion of these questions and broadens the scope for progressive economic policy. We would like you to join us for an intensive high-level debate on thinking economics forward.

See the programme

The congress is over. A recording will soon be provided on this website.


Hans Matthöfer Prize 2024

Award ceremony within the framework of #tpw24

to Isabella M. Weber and Alexander Hagelüken

March 19, 2024
07:30 p.m.


#tpw24 with, among others

Sven Giegold

Sven Giegold

Martin Schulz

Martin Schulz

Isabella M. Weber

Isabella M. Weber

Mariana Mazzucato

Mariana Mazzucato

Armand Zorn

Armand Zorn

Alexander Hagelüken

Alexander Hagelüken

Carla Reemtsma

Carla Reemtsma

Clara Mattei

Clara Mattei

Andreas Babler

Andreas Babler

Ralf Reinstädtler

Ralf Reinstädtler

Michael Schrodi

Michael Schrodi

Stefan Körzell

Stefan Körzell

Katja Rietzler

Katja Rietzler

Julia Reinhardt

Julia Reinhardt

Lisa Göldner

Lisa Göldner


Programme March 19, 2024,  Hans Matthöfer Award Ceremony

The award ceremony can be followed in the livestream on this website without registration.
Attendance is only possible upon personal invitation.


Welcome remarks by Martin Schulz, Chairman of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Moderation: Jens Tönnesmann, DIE ZEIT und Petra Pinzler, DIE ZEIT

Festive speech by Yasmin Fahimi, DGB Chairperson (German Trade Union Confederation)

"How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate"

Short presentation of core theses by author Isabella M. Weber

Laudation by jury member Brigitte Preissl

"Schock-Zeiten – Wie Deutschland den wirtschaftlichen Abstieg verhindert" (Shock Times – How Germany Prevents Economic Decline)

Short presentation of core theses by author Alexander Hagelüken

Laudation by jury member Peter Bofinger

Ceremonial awarding of the certificates

End of the Award Ceremony

Programme March 20, 2024

The programme of the main stage can be followed in the livestream on this website without registration.



Welcome remarks by Martin Schulz, Chairman of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Moderation: Jens Tönnesmann, DIE ZEIT, and Petra Pinzler, DIE ZEIT

Key note speech: Promoting and demanding ways of a progressive industrial policy

  • Mariana Mazzucato, Professor at University College London (UCL), Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP)

Opening panel: The decade of industrial policy  how much state does the market need?


  • Sven Giegold, Secretary of State at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
  • Achim Truger, Member of the German Council of Economic Experts and Professor of Socioeconomics, University of Duisburg-Essen


Scarce resources, clear priorities: What priorities should we set for the socio-ecological restructuring of our economy? – a debate

  • Ralf Reinstädtler, Board member, IG Metall
  • Carla Reemtsma, Climate Activist

Transition to the forums

Start of the parallel forums:

Forum I: Trade and supply chains in the wake of the Zeitenwende – new challenges and tools between foreign trade policy and global structural policy


  • Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, Chairman, Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID), Bangladesh
  • Clair Siobhan Ruppert, International Coordinator, Unified Workers' Central (CUT Brazil)
  • Teniola Tayo, Trade Policy Advisor APRI Nigeria

Moderation: Nora Rohde & Milena Koch, Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB)

World trade is undergoing upheaval. The current debate in Germany and Europe more widely, however, is focused primarily on security policy and geo-economic issues or on security of supply to underpin our transformation. But despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, in fact our partner countries’ points of view are being neglected in this process of reorientation, as are robust and properly funded instruments for developing socially, ecologically and economically more sustainable economic relations. Apart from anything else, this undermines the successful conclusion of trade agreements and resilient economic partnerships. This forum is intended to tackle this imbalance and to discuss concrete ideas and examples for a progressive trade and supply chain policy for the twenty-first century between Europe and key partner regions.


Forum II: German financial policy – paradigm change or business as usual?

  • Stefan Körzell, member of the executive board of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)
  • Katja Rietzler, Head of the Tax and Financial Policy Division, Macronomic Policy Institute (IMK)
  • Michael Schrodi, MdB, MP, SPD spokesperson on financial policy
  • Lucie Zmijanjac, Partner at Sattler & Partner AG

Moderation: Carl Mühlbach, Managing Director at Fiscal Future

The German state and society seem to be confronted by financial policy challenges at ever shorter intervals. No sooner had the problems of the 2009 financial crisis been dealt with than financial policymakers had to meet the challenges of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and then the so-called Zeitenwende. In this context of looming economic recession there is acute pressure to take urgent action.

While both the quantity and quality of state services and benefits appear increasingly unsatisfactory, and many people feel that they are being forced to give up a growing portion of their income to the state, the Federal Constitutional Court decided to obstruct the government coalition’s budgetary compromise with its narrowminded interpretation of the debt brake. Instead of investing in the future, proposals to cut benefits are increasingly coming to the fore.

On the other hand, doubts about the wisdom of debt brakes and rigid austerity policies are being expressed ever more widely across politics and society. While not long ago debt-brake critics were really up against it, their unease has been spreading to the business world and conservative circles. For this reason, in this forum we would like to assess the scope for action that would open up if a fairer fiscal policy was implemented, more appropriate to the economic situation, not to mention if existing possibilities for borrowing were taken advantage of. We would also like to discuss the conditions under which policymakers, business and the media would be ready, not least in their own interest, to turn away from entrenched ideological dogma.


Forum III: Artificial intelligence »made in Europe«: sovereign, trustworthy and innovative?

  • Julia Reinhardt, Fellow, European New School of Digital Studies at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt
  • Christian Kellermann, Professor at the University of Labour, Frankfurt, Senior Researcher at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
  • Armand Zorn, MdB, MP, member of the Bundestag Committee on Digital Affairs for the SPD

Moderation: Tobi Müller, freelance journalist, author and moderator

Europe has set itself high standards as regards artificial intelligence that is »made in Europe«: European AI needs to be trustworthy, but also competitive, human-centred and committed to European values, as well as outstanding and innovative. In order to achieve these aims the EU will rely, first, on regulation (in particular the AI Act), but also on a comprehensive funding programme. But does the EU's AI policy live up to the high standards it has set itself? Is Europe really in a position to achieve sovereignty in the area of artificial intelligence, in the sense of pursuing its own path in terms of technological development and implementation – and if it is, what does it need to realise that ambition? What should Europe’s priorities (but also perhaps limitations) be when it comes to the development of AI in the economy and society?

Lunch Break

Transition to further forums

Forum IV: Demanding and promoting transformation – why do we need a European investment capacity?


  • Nils Redeker, Jaques Delors Center, The Hertie School
  • Helene Schuberth, Chief Economist, Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB)
  • Klaus Deutsch, Head of Department Research, Industrial and Economic Policy, Federation of German Industries (BDI)

Moderation: Dominika Biegon, Head of European and International Economic Policy, Federal Executive Board of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)

Transformation will require massive investments to close growing emissions gaps and to remain geo-economically competitive in the value chains of the future. While the EU Member States are putting the final touches to the new fiscal rules and the recovery fund is set to expire, the task for the next EU legislature is already taking shape, namely to establish an investment agenda alongside the new debt limits. But how great are the current needs and why should we invest in transformation at European level in the single market rather than nationally? What would an EU investment capacity look like and what needs to be done politically to make it happen?


Forum V: On the road to climate neutrality or facing the comeback of fossil fuels? Where are global energy systems headed?

  • Lisa Göldner, Lead-Campaigner European Fossil Free Revolution, Greenpeace Germany
  • Karsten Neuhoff,  Head of the Climate Policy Department, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)
  • Thomas Spencer, Power Sector Modeller and Analyst, International Energy Agency (IEA)

Moderation: Carel Mohn, Editor-in-Chief and Project Manager

There are conflicting signals. Although some energy scenarios forecast peak oil, coal and gas use for as early as 2025, at least for the medium term the 1.5 °C target seems to be receding further and further into the future. The fear is that fossil fuel use will persist at a high level until 2030 and fall too slowly. Global energy markets have experienced significant difficulties since Russia launched its war of aggression: while on one hand renewable energies have undergone record annual expansion, on the other, new fossil fuel deposits have been slated for exploitation to meet global energy needs. In light of this complex situation we would like to discuss the following issues within the framework of the forum:

How have global energy markets developed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? What effects has the crisis had on the turn away from fossil fuels, above all in the Global South?

Are global energy markets »on track« with decarbonisation or are fossil fuels likely to stage a comeback?

What needs to happen to enable renewable energies to edge out fossil fuels on a global scale and thus meet the Paris climate targets? What are the fossil fuel system’s tipping points and what are Germany’s and Europe’s roles in this?

How can this transition be shaped in such a way that rising or volatile energy prices do not lead to social and economic upheaval?


Forum VI: Economic democracy to foster regional transformation

  • Andrew Cumbers, Professor of Political Economy, the University of Glasgow
  • Lavinia Steinfort, Project Coordinator at the Transnational Institute (TNI)
  • Robert Drewnicki, Project Manager, ReTraNetz Berlin-Brandenburg

Moderation: Anna Kolesnichenko, Policy Analyst, Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

It has become evident that the economic model we have built is not working for people and the planet. The incumbent economic power holders are not going to be the drivers of change. Transformation of the economy requires a democratic process that would build up the power of social stakeholders and citizens at large. In this panel we will explore the local/regional dimension of this transformation. We will look at models and tools of democratising public services, re-municipalisation and building local wellbeing economy.  Particular emphasis will be on the process of transformation, looking at the issue of power mobilisation and sharing: who can drive such transformation, what are the obstacles and how to overcome them?


Closing panel: Keypoints of a progressive economic policy for Germany and Europe

Keynote Speech

  • Andreas Babler, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ)

concluding discussion with

  • Sebastian Dullien, Professor of Economics, Director of the Macronomic Policy Institute (IMK)
  • Clara Mattei, Associate Professor of Economics, New School for Social Research
  • Alexander Hagelüken, Business Editor at Süddeutsche Zeitung and award winner of the Hans Matthöfer Prize for Economic Publications 2024


This was our #tpw24

Thinking economics forward | Video

The entire recording of the Day of Progressive Economic Policy on March 20, 2024 in Berlin can be found in this video.

The individual panel discussions and the recording of the Hans Matthöfer Prize ceremony on March 19, 2024 can be found here.

Contact and Directions

Questions? Get in touch!

If you have any questions concerning a barrier-free participation in the event, please contact us.



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