Thomas Wieser was the Brussels based President of the Euro Working Group and Chairman of the EU’s Economic and Financial Committee from 2012 to 2018, responsible for the preparation of the negotiations and decisions of EU Finance Ministers.
Prior to that, he was Director-General for Economic Policy and Financial Markets of the Austrian Ministry of Finance (2000 – 2012). He studied economics in Innsbruck. His post-graduate education took him to Boulder, Colorado, on a Fulbright scholarship, and the Institute of Advanced Studies in Vienna.
At present, he is associated with Bruegel, the Brussels Think Tank, as a Non-Resident Fellow. He recently chaired the so-called High-Level Group of Wise Persons on the European Financial Architecture for Development and in 2019/20 the European Commission’s High-Level Forum on CMU.
He has held a number of other international functions, such as that of Chair of the OECD Committee on Financial Markets and has published on a range of economic policy issues.
Besides political appeal, is there economic merit to compressing international supply chains, and/or bringing them closer to ‘home’? Are we witnessing the end of stretched, cost-driven value chains – a prime feature of globalization – or their transformation? How can value chains be secured for greater robustness and resilience, and how can policy help?
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for supply chains globally. Multiple national lockdowns have led to labour bottlenecks and have disrupted the flow of raw materials and finished goods, dragging on manufacturing, and sending customers in a waiting mode.
These developments have compelled observers to ponder decoupling from China, value chain localization/regionalization, even ‘nationalization’ of selected strategic industries, closely linked to the concept of EU strategic autonomy, the idea of a more economically self-sufficient EU.