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Discussing Wales’ economic recovery

25 June 2009

How do small countries, like Wales, stand in the world and what are the new challenges and opportunities they face as a result of the global economic crisis, are just some of the key questions that will be considered next week as part of a major international University conference.

Small countries and the global crisis: challenges and opportunities is a joint conference between the University’s Wales Governance Centre, The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods and the Welsh Assembly Government designed to address the key challenges faced by small countries in light of the current global financial crisis.

The conference aims to examine these challenges and consider what responses the small countries might adopt.

Professor Richard Wyn Jones, Director of the Wales Governance Centre said, "Some commentators have argued that we are witnessing the end of an era of globalization and the growth of regionalization movements and strengthened decentralization across Europe.

"Central governments are now redefining their relations with global and financial institutions and with each other. As large national states reformulate their relations with the financial and economic systems, regions and small countries such as Wales, Scotland and Catalonia, and small sovereign states such as Ireland and Finland, are faced with new challenges.

"This conference will explore what form these challenges might take and what institutional and policy responses the small countries might adopt. It will also examine the consequences for ordinary citizens and their impact on the delivery of services as well as democratic practice."

The conference will hear keynote speeches from Wales’ First Minister, Rhodri Morgan AM, Mr Gerhard Stahl, Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions and Wales’ Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones as well as other key academics and practitioners from across Europe.

The day’s proceedings will end with a roundtable political discussion on the subject What is the future of devolution in the global crisis? where a panel of experts will debate what the economic crisis means for small country governance and specifically for devolution in Wales and Scotland.

The conference takes place on Wednesday 1st July between 9.00 – 6.00 at the Hilton Hotel, Cardiff. The event is free of charge for Cardiff University staff and students and Welsh Assembly Government employees.

Further information is available by contacting Gemma Broadhurst by e-mail: or telephone, 029 208 74885.