Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Venice August 22nd - 28th, 2002 for the 17th Annual Congress of the European Economic Association (EEA) and the 57th European Meeting of the Econometric Society (ESEM) which will both be held on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore and hosted by the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

This year's conference venue, the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, faces St. Mark's Square and is a great testimonial to central moments in the history of Italian art and architecture. The extraordinary Basilica overlooking the basin of St. Mark's is a Palladian masterpiece with the monumental staircase and great library from Baldassare Longhena and paintings inside by Tintoretto, Palma and Bassano. The island is easily reached by either public transports or an EEA/ESEM shuttle boat. Venice is the most beautiful and best preserved city in the world. The city has earned the name of La Serenissima, the most serene, as throughout the city's remarkably stable history Venice favoured neutrality and peace when possible. Today the city's peaceful atmosphere is due to the complete absence of cars; boats provide the only means of transport along a system of over one hundred and fifty canals. For those who prefer to explore the city on foot, more than 430 bridges connect the canals and streets or calle together. St. Mark's Square, once referred to as "the drawing room of the world", has been the scene of some of the most important religious and political activities of the Serenissima as well as the centre of Venetian social life for almost a millennium.

Hosting this year's conferences is the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, a non-profit, non-partisan research institution established to carry out research in the fields of economics, energy, environment and sustainable development. Recognised by the President of the Italian Republic in July 1989, it has since become a leading international research centre. One of its principal aims is to promote interaction between academic, industrial and public policy spheres in order to comprehensively address concerns about economic development and environmental degradation.

The 17th Annual Congress of the European Economic Association will be held August 22nd through 24th followed by the 57th European Meeting of the Econometric Society August 25th through 28th. The European Economic Association was created 17 years ago by a group of Belgian economists concerned about Europe's lagging performance in economics. The EEA is an international scientific body, with membership open to all persons involved or interested in economics. The association's aims are: to contribute to the development and application of economics as a science in Europe, to improve communication and exchange between teachers, researchers and students in economics in the different European countries, and to develop and sponsor co-operation between teaching institutions of university level and research institutions in Europe. The Econometric Society was founded in 1930 and is the most prestigious learned society in the field of economics, with a world-wide membership. Its main objective is to promote studies that aim at a unification of the theoretical-quantitative and empirical-quantitative approach to economic problems and that are penetrated by constructive and rigorous thinking similar to that which has come to dominate in the natural sciences.

Please continue to refer to this official 2002 Congress web-site for further information regarding the conference programmes or if you wish to learn more about what awaits you in Venice. Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at: info@eea-esem2002.it.

I look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful and historic city of Venice for what will certainly be a most memorable and informative conference.

Prof. Carlo Carraro
Event Organiser
Research Director, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei