7th Munich Economic Summit: 'Europe in the Global Competition for Talent'

München, (PresseBox) - German Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan and her colleague at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Olaf Scholz, will deliver the keynote addresses at the forthcoming 7th Munich Economic Summit, which will be held in Bavaria's capital on June 5 and 6. They will be joined by some of the world's leading economists in the field, European Commission officials, personnel chiefs of major multinationals and the chief editors and economics commentators of Europe's foremost newspapers in discussing an increasingly contentious issue: the global competition for talent.

Nobody disputes that, in an era of accelerating globalisation, with low-wage jobs and low-cost manufacturing readily available around the globe, Europe must rely increasingly on innovation to stay ahead.

Innovation, in turn, depends primarily on the quality and quantity of talent available. What is less clear is what can be done to nurture, attract, and retain such talent.

This year's Summit has been divided into two panels. The first one, 'Brain Drain', will delve into the question of why so many Europe-grown talents pack their bags and turn their backs on the home country, and what can be done to retain this talent. Germany loses doctors to Britain, Britain loses engineers to Australia, Eastern Europe many of its best brains to the rest of the world. Business leaders are understandably anxious as gaps in Europe's job markets grow ever larger.
Are higher salaries a solution? Or a more innovative culture, open to exploring and exploiting new fields?

The second panel, 'Brain Gain', will address a puzzle: while the unskilled are ready to even risk their lives to get into Europe, highly skilled professionals seldom deign to even try for a European visa: the best educated prefer Canada, Australia, the United States or Singapore.
It appears that a combination of lethargic economies, stifling regulations and powerful national lobbies all conspire to make many of the continent's economies unattractive. Is the Blue Card proposed by the European Commission the solution to attract talent? Can European governments harmonise their immigration policies? Can the need for more immigration be reconciled with the hostile mood towards foreigners prevailing in many European countries?

The Munich Economic Summit is an annual European economic policy forum in which high-ranking decision-makers from the world of politics and business get together with renowned economists and chief editors of major news media to discuss issues vital to Europe's economic development. The Summit is organised jointly by the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt and the CESifo Group Munich, in partnership with The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal Europe.

The generous contributions of a number of sponsors make the Summit possible, including Siemens AG, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Swiss Re, BASF, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., and HypoVereinsbank.

Press representatives interested in taking part in the Summit as observers are advised to fill out the attached accreditation form and fax it to Annette Marquardt, fax +49 89 9224 1267.

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