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It is generally thought that the 21st century will bring greater changes to our world than ever before. We live in a time when new megatrends are emerging, and a new economic world order is being created. The closure of a decade and the beginning of a new one always offers a great opportunity to stop for a moment and examine the forces shaping our days.


Sustainability was the main focus of the Lamfalussy Lectures Conference in this year. Hundreds of analysts and experts came to Budapest to hear global monetary policy leaders about the importance of being able to weather economic and ecological crises. Many of those attending the conference agreed that future economic growth relied on long-term sustainability. To learn more about this event please read the interview collection with our keynote speakers, awardees and experts like György Matolcsy, Peter Praet, Poul Thomsen, Serey Chea and Barry Eichengreen.



Peter Praet

Former Executive Board member, ECB

Lámfalussy Award

Baksay Gergely

Director, MNB

Popovics Award




How to rethink the maastricht criteria? The euro is the grandest project in the economic history of Europe. An instrument and an underlying set of institutions, whose success or shortcomings are fundamental to determining the progress of an entire continent. 2019 was the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the euro. Two decades are a sufficiently long period to interpret in economic history terms and to arrive at a deeper understanding and assessment of the lessons from the use of the single currency. There is almost complete agreement about the need for a complete reconsideration of the Maastricht criteria . We have to create version 2.0 of the Maastricht criteria together!



György H Matolcsy

Governor, MNB

György H Matolcsy



Dr. György Matolcsy serves his second term as the governor of Magyar Nemzeti Bank, the cen-tral bank of Hungary. He was nominated to the position in 2013 and his tenure was renewed in 2019 for another 6 years. Since 2013 he is also a member of the Fiscal Council. Prior to his cur-rent position he was minister of national economy between 2010-2013. In 2007 he founded the Hungarian Economic Development Institute, which he headed for 3 years. Between 2000-2002 he was Hungary’s minister of economic affairs. Mr Matolcsy is the author of the Széchenyi Plan, a comprehensive strategy aiming to promote the economic growth in Hungary.
He was director of the Institute for Growth (2002-2010) and its predecessor organisation, the Privatisation Research Institute from 1995 to 2000. From the end of 1998 he has been a member of the economic advisory body of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Starting in 1991 he spent 3 years as a member of the Board of Governors at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) representing the Hungarian Government. In 1990 he joined the Office of the Prime Minister and served as the personal economic advisor to Prime Minister József Antall.
Acknowledging his efforts in promoting economic development in Hungary, he was awarded the Barankovics Commemorative Coin in 2013.
He graduated at Karl Marx University of Economics in 1977 and obtained his Doctorate degree in 1984.
Mr. Matolcsy is actively involved in educational activities. He is a frequent lecturer at top foreign and Hungarian universities. He is an honorary doctor at the University of Debrecen and the Uni-versity of Kaposvár, and honorary member of Fudan Development Institute (FDDI) of Fudan Uni-versity and of the FDDI International Advisory Board of Shanghai Forum.
Mr. Matolcsy is the author of numerous publications, articles and books. His most recent book, Economic Balance and Growth was published in 2015, whereas his other books include Bringing Up the Rear (Éllovasból sereghajtó; 2008), American Empire (Amerikai birodalom; 2004), and Our Living Memories (Élő emlékeink; 2003).

Peter Praet

Former Executive Board member, ECB

Peter Praet

European Central Bank

Former Executive Board member and Chief economist

Peter Praet has been Executive Board member of the ECB and its Chief economist from June 2011 to May 2019. In this capacity ha was responsible for preparing the monetary policy meetings and making the proposals for the policy decision. From 2011 to 2014 he was also in charge of budget, organisation and human resources of the ECB, a period which includes the establishment of the Single Supervisory Mechanism.
Peter Praet gained a PhD in economics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He was an economist at the International Monetary Fund (1978-1980), Professor of Economics at ULB (1980-1987) and Chief economist of Générale de Banque, subsequently Fortis Bank (1987-1999).
From 1999 to 2000 he was Chief of Staff of the Minister of Finance of Belgium, particularly involved in an important tax reform and a redesign of banking and insurance supervision.
In 2000 Peter Praet was appointed Executive Board member of the Central bank of Belgium (BNB/NBB), responsible for International Cooperation, Oversight of Financial and Payments Infrastructures and Financial Stability, a new activity for the central bank which he initiated.
During his term at the central bank he was appointed Executive Board member of the Belgian Banking, Financial and Insurance Commission, the Belgian integrated financial supervisor (2002-2011). He was in charge of banking and insurance regulation.
In 2008 Peter Praet was nominated member of the Steering Committee in charge of managing the Belgian systemic banking crisis.
Until his appointment for an 8-year term at the ECB Peter Praet continued to teach Money and Banking at ULB.
Peter Praet has served on a number of high level international and european committees. In the BIS: the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), the Committee on Payments and Settlement Systems (C PSS), the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS). In the European Union: the European Banking Authority (previously the Committee of European Banking Supervisors) and, as chair, the ECB Banking Supervision Committee (BSC). At the OECD he succeeded Stan Fischer as chair of the Working Party 3 (2018-2019).

Robert Holzmann

Governor, OeNB

Robert Holzmann

Oesterreichische Nationalbank


Professor Robert Holzmann is Governor of the Austrian Central Bank and member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank since September 2019. He is a full member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and holds honorary positions at the South-Western University in Economics and Finance, Chengdu; University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur and University of New South Wales, Sydney. In addition to academic positions in Austria and Germany, he worked at the OECD and at the IMF as a senior economist. At the World Bank he led the pension strategy work as Sector Director of the Social Protection & Labor Department. Professor Holzmann also served internationally as senior advisor on pensions, financial literacy & education, labor market and migration issues. He has published extensively on financial, fiscal and social policy issues.

H. E. Chea Seray

Assistant governor, NBC

H.E. Serey Chea

National Bank of Cambodia

Assistant Governor and Director General

Serey Chea is an Assistant Governor at National Bank of Cambodia. She is a vocal proponent for greater use of the local currency to promote the country's greater independence on economic and monetary policy. Under her leadership innovative policy instruments were introduced to develop the interbank markets and promote the use of local currency. She is a member of different policy-driven committees within the bank and nationally. She is chairwoman of the Credit Bureau Cambodia Ltd., the first and only privately-run credit sharing system in Cambodia. Under her leadership, retail payment infrastructure has been modernized with the introduction of a national shared switch for cards transactions and FAST payment system, a real time fund transfer from a bank account to another bank account in Cambodia. As a chairwoman of Clearing House Operation Committee, she has been leading the Bakong Project, an initiative of the National Bank of Cambodia in exploring and introducing a new generation of payment system using Blockchain technology. She is also a member of the Southeast Asia Advisory Council of Women World Banking and a member of Young Global Leaders, Class of 2019, a forum of Young Global Leaders created by the World Economic Forum. She is a strong proponent for women economic empowerment and financial inclusion served as Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s (AFI’s) high level Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion Committee (GWFIC). Serey is a senior fellow of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and currently pursuing her PhD degree with the University of Adelaide (Australia) focusing on balancing financial inclusion and financial stability.

Poul M. Thomsen

Director of the European Department, IMF

Poul M. Thomsen

International Monetary Fund

Director of the European Department

Poul M. Thomsen, a Danish national has been Director of the European Department at the International Monetary Fund since November 2014 supervising the Fund’s bilateral surveillance work for the 44 countries in the Department, its policy dialogue with EU institutions, including the ECB, and its program discussions with European countries with Fund supported programs. As Director, Mr. Thomsen also has the responsibility for the Fund’s outreach activities in Europe and its interactions with European senior officials.
Before taking up his current position, Mr. Thomsen had, as Deputy Director of the European Department, the primary responsibility for the Fund’s programs with European countries affected by the global financial crisis and the subsequent crisis in the Euro Zone, including as mission chief for Iceland, Greece and Portugal and as supervisor of the programs for Romania and Ukraine.
Before the global financial crisis, Mr. Thomsen gained extensive knowledge of countries in Central and Eastern Europe, having worked on the region continuously from 1987 to 2008, including as mission chief for multiple countries in the region, head of the Fund’s Russia Division during the 1998 Russian financial crisis, and Director of its Moscow Office from 2001 to 2004.

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