Report: Free Market Road Show in Paris 2019

Lighting the Way: Perspectives for the Future of Europe.

The Meeting took place in a convenient place located in the heart of Paris, 37 Avenue Mac Mahon, on the 26th of March. The public was very diversified: Some fifty participants including students, academics, businessmen.

The general topic was about the future of Europe and how to make it rosier, meaning more respectful of free market principles. In light of the upcoming European Union elections and Brexit, against a background of evolving perceptions of NATO, a realignment of geopolitical forces, and a European population ambivalent about the future, what are shared European aspirations and expectations? How do we chart a path towards an optimistic, dynamic, and innovative Europe?

The panelists were as diversified as the audience. On the first panel were John Chisholm, an entrepreneur, who made a few, very practical propositions such as increase the number of special economic zones, rely more on “organic regulation” and try to gain 16 ranks at the Doing business index (France is currently in 32nd position).

Anders Ydstedt shared the experience of Sweden and explained that: “The Tax system must respect private ownership.”

Pierre Garello insisted on what is valuable in Europe today, like individual rights, and the rule of law, is the fruit of centuries of institutional competition. “One must go back to that tradition of competing jurisdiction in Europe and give up on the idea to harmonize everything. Finally, James Sproule insisted that “The future is already with us”. Things are moving fast, and the EU is relying on a social model, which is obsolete. When asked for his opinion about the Brexit, he said that the EU in that circumstance have been “tactically brilliant but strategically stupid”.

On the second panel, Chloé Fabre focused on institutional reforms with Europe. She suggested that our freedom should be protected by some kind of international institutions. Richard Zundritsch, taking up the question of gun regulation, illustrated the clash between EU (or Shengen) dispositions and some deeply rooted Swiss tradition. Finally, Christopher Lingle warned that today’s European Union resembles many traits of the Weimar Republic. One should be aware of a natural tendency for democracies to slide towards populism and claim again and again the value of personal liberty that bring prosperity and peace.

After the second panel ended, participants were invited to share their reactions first formally with questions to the panelists and then informally around a glass of (French) wine.


The local partners for that meeting were:

  • IES-Europe
  • Les affranchise-Students for Liberty
  • Union of European Federalists
  • Jeunes Européens, Etudiants de Paris
  • IREF