Philippe Legrain

Philippe Legrain

Former Advisor to European Commission President

Synopsis

The former Economist correspondent, special advisor to the World Trade Organisation and advisor to the European Commission President considers a range of economic issues around the post-crisis world, globalisation, economic policy and immigration - and how a new political, social and economic reality can solve the potential problems.

Biography

Philippe Legrain is a journalist and author, specialising in the fields of globalisation, migration and the European economy. He is Visiting Fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and a former advisor to European Commission President Jose Manuel Baroso.

Philippe’s career started at The Economist, moving to the World Trade Organisation as special adviser to the Director General. After a spell at the World Economic Forum, he became chief economist and then Director of Policy at Britain in Europe. He served for three years as independent economic adviser to the President of the European Commission and led the team that provided him with strategic policy advice.

Philippe addresses key areas around the economy, globalisation and immigration and describes his outlook as the intersection of finance, economics and politics. He considers how Europe and the world are reacting to the post-financial crisis realities and what can be done to avoid slipping into mistakes of the past. In his book European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right, Philippe reflects on the backlash in Europe as people are increasingly disenchanted with politicians, the so-called ‘elite’, society and their lives in general. He explains how wrong many have got Europe, ignoring inconvenient truths about the desire of countries to retain their Eurozone status and how the rise of extreme parties only serves to centralise power on a select few.

In his book Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy After the Crisis Phillipe examines how the crisis happened, the long-term risks it produced, and the best strategies to rebuild a more stable world economy. Throughout these analyses he argues that globalisation provides the opportunity for everyone, rich and poor, to better their lives and their economies. In his book Open World: The Truth about Globalisation, he challenges conventional wisdom that governments' ability to tax, spend and regulate is under threat from global competition. He believes that globalisation is the only way to give governments the means to combat poverty. An idea expanded in Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them which reveals the economic and business arguments for immigration (diversity fills skills shortages and creativity), whilst looking at the political and social realities.

As an economics journalist, Philippe has contributed to the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Times, New Statesman, and a host of specialist economic, social and political journals and is a contributing editor to Prospect magazine. He also makes regular appearances on television and radio commenting on European and immigration issues.

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