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The Austrian Economics Center (AEC), in cooperation with over 100 leading think-tanks and universities across Europe and the Caucasus, and in association with international partners such as the Global Philanthropic Trust, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Americans for Tax Reform, Competitive Enterprise Institute, World Taxpayers Associations, European Students for Liberty, and the F.A. v. Hayek Institut, are proud to present the 10th Annual Free Market Road Show, which tours from March 16th to May 22nd through 45 capitals in Europe and Caucasus – from Scandinavia to Montenegro, from Spain to the Ukraine.

Dr. Barbara Kolm, Austrian Economics Center

Introductory Note by

Sebastian Kurz

Austrian Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs

The European integration continues to be the biggest contribution to peace and economic prosperity on our continent. In recent years, though, Europe has been faced with many challenges politically as well as economically. To successfully live up to these challenges we need to increase the confidence of people in the European project and improve again our competitiveness in order to achieve stronger economic growth and combat unemployment. Therefore, attracting businesses and creating jobs remain top priorities.
In this context it is key to further promote entrepreneurship and secure a strong manufacturing base combined with a high-performing service sector. Europe and Austria have to do more to facilitate the starting of new businesses and the development of innovative ideas. In doing so, we have to strike a balance in Europe between necessary regulations and economic freedom for entrepreneurship.
Free markets are not only a prerequisite for maintaining prosperity and high living standards but they are also an essential contribution to a sustainable social cohesion. It is important to keep this in mind especially in times of growing threats to our security and stability.
The challenges lying ahead can only be managed working together. We therefore have to focus on a Europe that is able to achieve results and deliver in priority areas such as security and economic growth.
I wish you all interesting and fruitful discussions at the “Free Market Road Show” 2017.

Sebastian Kurz

Introductory Note by

Johannes Hahn

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations

2017 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome as well as the birth moment of a European Union at 27. Despite the numerous political economic and social challenges in and around Europe 2017 will be an opportunity to reflect thoroughly and extensively about the future of Europe, what people expect, what Europe is able to deliver and which role the European Union should play in a globalised world. In all this, it is important to recall that free and open societies and markets are simply more successful than closed ones and I am glad that the Free Market Road Show 2017 will contribute to raise public awareness about this fact.
For me free markets not only means enhancing economic governance, strengthening fiscal stability and supporting structural reforms for improved competitiveness, inclusive growth and social development, which are keys to boost a country’s economy it means also to bring down barriers and prejudices in minds, strengthening good governance and democracy as a whole. Thus free markets contribute to stability in and around Europe.
I am confident that the Free Marked Roadshow 2017 offers a relevant forum to spread and discuss the numerous advantages and possible improvements linked to the future European Internal Market and the importance of free and open markets for the world.

Dr. Johannes Hahn

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