School of Transnational Governance

Agents of Change: the Economics and Politics of Reforms


Date: 16-17 September 2019

Place: European University Institute, Florence

Scientific Coordinator: George Papaconstantinou (EUI)  


We live in times of continuous and multi-faceted economic, political and social change. Around the world, governments and public entities are struggling to adapt to a complex and fast-changing international environment which puts a premium on competitiveness and adaptation.

Public budgets are under strain as they strive to continue delivering services to citizens, while demands for fairness and equity put the spotlight on how tax revenues are raised, and on how pension and social security systems can be both adequate for an older population and economically sustainable. 

Policy-makers and the public administration in both European and non-European countries are called upon to design and implement comprehensive structural and fiscal reform programmes, aimed at overhauling the functioning of the public sector and radically changing the economy, while responding to citizens' demand  for greater accountability and transparency. Moreover, they need to do so within a rapidly changing environment of transnational governance where international trends and shifts influence their policy options and choices. 

As a result, the practice of public governance as we know it is no longer “business as usual”. It has become more complex and rigorous than ever. Public servants are effectively being transformed from simple guardians of long-established rules and processes aimed at safeguarding the public interest into active agents of change, capable of designing and implementing effective, sustainable economic reforms for the greater good. In this role they are assisted by private sector and civil society actors who influence the process, also effectively acting as change agents. 


During the Executive Training, participants acquire the understanding and tools needed to become Agents of change in national and international administrations, while building a network of people who share a common understanding of the challenges of reforming. The training provides a rigorous, evidence-based approach to economic reforms drawn from the hands-on experience of senior policy practitioners. 

Meet your Trainers:

George Papaconstantinou

George Papaconstantinou is part-time Professor at the STG. He served as Greece’s Finance Minister at the outset of the Eurozone crisis, playing a key role in the design, negotiation and implementation of Greece’s EU/IMF support programme with its associated economic and financial policies. Prior to serving in government, he was a member of the Greek parliament and the European Parliament. In the earlier part of his career, he was senior economist at the OECD, served in a policy advisory capacity for the Greek government, taught at the Athens University of Economics and Business and consulted for the European Commission and international think-tanks.



Megan Greene is Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. She was until recently the Global Chief Economist at Manulife/John Hancock Asset Management, responsible for forecasting global macro trends and providing analysis for investment teams around the world. Previously, she was director of European Economics at Roubini Global Economics and the euro crisis expert at the Economist Intelligence Unit. She advises governments and central banks in the US, UK, eurozone and Japan, writes a regular column on global economics in the Financial Times and contribures to Politico, Bloomberg View and Foreign Affairs. 


Bob Traa_AOG

Bob Traa is the current President of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten and a former International Monetary Fund official. He worked for over 30 years at the IMF on macroeconomic and structural issues, such as countries' growth potential and outlook, fiscal and monetary policy, money and banking, exchange rate and balance of payments, and policy sustainability. He has extensive experience in Latin America (including Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador), the Caribbean, North America, and Europe (including Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Israel). He has also worked on countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Nicola Giammarioli

Nicola Giammarioli is the Secretary General of the European Stability Mechanism (effective 15 September 2019). He has been at the EFSF/ESM since 2012 in various roles, including Head of Strategy, responsible for reviewing and developing ESM instruments, and ESM country team coordinator for Ireland and Greece. Prior to this, Mr. Giammarioli has been an IMF executive board member and a director in the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. He has also held positions of economist and senior economist at the ECB. Mr. Giammarioli graduated in economics at Bocconi University. He obtained a M.Sc. from the University of Warwick, and a Ph.D. in economics from the European University Institute.



Fees: 1,300 € 

A discount of 25% will be applied to the charges for international European and national civil servants, as well as to members of the NGOs. 
The fees cover the cost of the course as well as coffee and lunch breaks. Travel and hotel costs are not included in the fees. 

Financial aid

The STG will offer a limited number of fee waivers and scholarships. If you are interested in applying, send a CV and a motivation letter to [email protected]

Please be informed that a decision on the assignment of fee waivers and scholarships will be made by the 20 August 2019.