Innovation Forum VI - 2014
Crisis, innovation and transition

1, 2 and 3 October 2014  (Pôle universitaire Léonard De Vinci, Paris la Défense)

Special sessions > An Economic Recovery Strategy for Wallonia: From Horizon 2022 to Marshall 2025

Following the industrial and financial crisis, the slowdown in economic activity has resulted in the drafting of plans for economic recovery in many countries. The purpose of this special session is, at first, to present the economic recovery strategy for Wallonia: The Marshall Plan 2025. In a second phase, research focusses on two major topics: employment and environment.

Historically, Wallonia was the main pole of industrialization and therefore the prosperity of Belgium. This period is, however, largely over. In 1963, GDP per capita reached the same level in Flanders and in Wallonia. Since then, the gap has widened dramatically in favor of Flanders. In 2006, the gap in GDP per capita was 25% of the national average; it is, in 2013, still about 21%. This evolution influenced the institutional situation. Clearly richer and therefore funding solidarity, Flanders has gradually strengthened its demands for autonomy and even for total independence.

Thus, unsurprisingly, the 6th state reform which passed in December 2013 and will apply from 2015, provides a mechanism to eventually reduce solidarity for Wallonia up to 580 million euros. In this context, in April 2012, the Minister-President of the Walloon government has asked four experts from the University of Mons, Louvain University, the National Bank of Belgium and IWEPS to draw, with other relevant academic experts, outlines of a strategy for the next 10 years. Initially, this strategy was called "Horizon 2022". Since then, it seemed sensible to appoint rather "Marshall 2025" by reference to the Marshall Plan currently underway.

We propose to present the results of this broad academic reflection at the conference. The diagnosis is pretty clear: Wallonia should increase the level of employment, but also the average productivity of labor. It must increase the number of companies and their average size. Details will be presented at the conference. In addition, issues relating to employment and the environment will be subject to particular lectures.

For more information on the special session, please contact Xavier Brédart (University of Mons, Belgium):

warocqué             humanorg          umons

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