Vilnius, Lithuania — Do the freedoms to work, trade, and invest, upon which the whole European project is founded still matter today? Why do we so often forget and take them for granted? Are current economic developments threatening the four fundamental freedoms of the EU? These questions are being discussed in an international conference “Why it is Important to Preserve the Four Freedoms” in Vilnius, organized by the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI).
According to Zilvinas Silenas, President of LFMI, European prosperity is a result of peaceful cooperation between individuals. “It is strange, that during these trying times European politicians place faith in bailout funds, government intervention instead of allowing for more individual freedom to work, to create, to trade and to invest”, said Z.Silenas.
Hardy Bouillon, from the New Direction Foundation (Belgium) emphasized that rights of individuals to work, create, trade and invest are inherent, fundamental, and can be secured without taking anything from other individuals. These freedoms create prosperity.
Carlo Stagnaro from Institute of Bruno Leoni (Italy) reminded that many sectors inside the EU are still not open to competition due to government intervention, state owned companies and other measures designed to ward off competition.
According to Nicolass Lecaussin’s (Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal Issues, France) research clearly shows that public spending does not fuel economic growth. Quite the opposite, it saps it in the long run.
The conference is a result of cooperation between the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania.