Workshop on European Integration, Regional Convergence, Productivity, Cohesion and Strategic Autonomy

April 29-30, 2024

College of Europe, Bruges (Belgium)

Call for papers

European integration in the economic, monetary and financial field have had very different consequences on productivity growth across sectors and regions, driving an economic wedge between EU citizens, both within and across countries. Technological progress is believed to spur economic dynamism, and is necessary to lift some EU regions out of stagnation, yet technological progress might accentuate regional disparities. Economic policies shaping the future of the European Union pay attention to cohesion yet in a quickly changing geopolitical and climate environment, such policies might require additional fiscal tools or investment to cope with these challenges. It also raises questions on the strategic autonomy of the EU. This workshop aims to study the dynamics of European integration, regional convergence, the transition, and the policies that guide these processes.

The main topics of the workshop include, but are not limited to:

  • The nature and size of regional convergence/divergence.
  • The emergence of territorial disparities
  • EU policies tackling growth dynamics in lagging regions.
  • Inequality and convergence across and within EU countries
  • The role of integration processes, technological change and the transition in convergence
  • Firm dynamics and productivity growth
  • Digitalization, technological change, and productivity growth 
  • European strategic autonomy: effects in the single market and in the world economy
  • Assess the role of regional policies, structural funds, and public investment in promoting convergence

The conference will be organised around 3 different sessions:

  • Academic Keynote by Jacques Thisse (UCL)
  • Policy Keynote by Mario Draghi
  • Academic sessions
  • Policy Panel


Academic sessions will give presenters sufficient time to present their work, with ample time for debate during the sessions. Participants may be asked to act as discussant.


The workshop aims to attract original and relevant theoretical and empirical contributions that fully embrace scientific methods. We invite you to submit your contribution, which should be a full paper, or an extended abstract of maximum 5 pages (including objectives of the paper, research question, methodology, expected results, and main references – ten max).

Please submit to

Deadlines for submissions

The workshop will be held in Bruges at the College of Europe. The workshop will be held on site.

Please take note of these important dates:

  • Deadline for paper and session submission: January 15th, 2024
  • Notification of acceptance: February 5th, 2024
  • Registration: March 1st, 2024

Information & Contact

For any other information on the workshop, you can always contact us at

Organisation Committee

This workshop is organized by the Department of Economics of the College of Europe.
Local organizer: Prof. Dr. Béatrice Dumont (College of Europe).
Scientific Committee: Prof. Dr. Peter Claeys (Universidad Pontificia Comillas).

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