In his lecture Trichet pointed at the successes of the euro such as the creation of jobs and low inflation. But the economic union also has some weaknesses, including the fact that the internal market is not yet finished. According to the former ECB President there is enough reason to strive for more European integration. The continent is faced with emerging economies like China and India, who also have a single market. In this new constellation global integration is essential for prosperity and influence.
Trichet presented his vision of the ‘Europe of tomorrow'. He spoke of a 'quantum leap'. According to him, the internal market should be perfected and structural measures should be taken. For instance, countries that break the rules no longer receive penalties, but the European authorities themselves should be able to take measures in such countries. That must be done in a democratic base, with the support of the European Parliament. Trichet also insisted on a European Ministry of Finance. I am fully aware of the boldness of some of the ideas presented here. But I really think that it is necessary for the Europeans -as well as for all advanced economies- to draw all the lessons from the past and present events.”
Rector Prof.dr. Henk Schmidt called Trichet ‘a modern-day hero’ for his efforts for both Europe and the euro. “In 2008, while the Eurozone governments were in disarray, the European Central Bank, under the direction of its president, Jean-Claude Trichet, acted decisively. It provided banks with unlimited credit, thereby saving the euro, the European Union, and its economy.” Ben Vree, Chairman of Club Rotterdam, described the laureate as 'a real European'.
About the Mandeville Lecture
The Mandeville Lecture, named for the Rotterdam-born physician and philosopher Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733), is an initiative of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Club Rotterdam and the Erasmus Trust Fund. United in the Bernard Mandeville Foundation, they annually distinguish a person because of great social achievements with the equivalent of an honorary degree. Previous laureates have included Joop van den Ende, Jeroen van der Veer, Bernard Bot, Lilian Goncalves, Ruud Lubbers and Frits Bolkestein.
Jean-Claude Trichet was honored for his performance as chief executive of the ECB (2003-2011), both at a strategic level and for his performance during the euro crisis. Trichet also gave a masterclass for talented students of the EUR. Prior to the lecture there was also an expert meeting.
All the information can be found at www.eur.nl/mandeville.