26th Economic Forum (2016)
6th - 8th September Krynica Zdrój, Poland,
United or Divided? Europe in the Face of the Challenges of Tomorrow
A record number of registered participants and accredited journalists, over two hundred thematic debates and special events, the participation of the heads of governments and parliaments, as well as ministers and parliamentarians from the countries of our region. The 26th Economic Forum was held in Krynica 6-8 September. The theme of this year's meeting "Europe facing challenges – united or divided?" reflected the current situation on the Old Continent. There were over 3500 participants at 26th Economic Forum and nearly 600 journalists from dozens of countries.
Over this year's Economic Forum in Krynica the important economic statements were given by the members of the Government. The Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said: “The next year the Government will prepare a large package of deregulation, which is meant to help entrepreneurs”. The Prime Minister also announced that the first Congress of Innovators will be held in Warsaw in June 2017. The Congress will promote Polish start-ups. The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Development Mateusz Morawiecki supported the initiative of trade unions and social organizations on the ban on Sunday trading. In addition, Deputy Prime Minister positively assessed the phenomenon of a new polonization of banks, provided that the transactions will be based on market parameters. In addition, Mateusz Morawiecki revealed the name and details of the operation of a new government agency designed to support Polish exporters – Polish Trade and Investment Agency, which is to replace the Polish Agency for Information and Foreign Investment (PAIIZ). The Deputy Finance Minister Wieslaw Jasinski, in turn, announced a tightening up of the VAT. The Polish Minister of Energy Krzysztof Tchórzewski declared in Krynica that the decisions on the construction of two power plants built in the clean coal technology will be presented on the turn of the year.
The session “Central and Eastern Europe – can speak with one voice?” was an opportunity for the next meeting of the representatives of the Visegrad Group: the Polish Prime Minister – Beata Szydło, the Hungarian Prime Minister – Viktor Orban, the Czech Prime Minister – Bohuslav Sobotka, the Slovak Prime Minister – Robert Fico and the Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman. During the debate, the Prime Ministers reflected on how to shape the social and economic policy so that it expressed interests of all citizens. They all stressed the enormous potential that the Group V4 has and the fact that it is able to change the future of Europe for better. The Prime Ministers pointed out that despite the differences they can always find the compromise and face global challenges. – Krynica is a good place to build good projects – and such a project we are building together now. The Visegrad Group is often perceived by the colleagues from the EU as a group of unruly Prime Ministers, who always have their own opinion on any subject. But it turns out that we are right – Beata Szydło said.
During the first day of the 26th Economic Forum in Krynica, as every year, the Awards were given by the Economic Forum Chapter in four categories. The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was awarded the Man of the Year Award. The Award for the Company of the Year was received by P4, the operator of the Play network, that has been on the Polish market since 2007. The Award in the category of New Culture of New Europe was received by Professor Yaroslav Hrycak, a Ukrainian historian, Head of the history of Ukraine at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. The Special Award of the Economic Forum has been given for the first time this year and was given to SESCOM SA from Gdansk.
The distinguished representatives of political life of Europe also attended the Forum, i.a.: the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Tibor Navracsics, the President of the Parliament of Lithuania Loreta Graužinienė, the Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze, the Minister of Energy of Lithuania Rokas Masiulis, the Minister of Energy of Ukraine Igor Nasalyk, the Minister of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Ageing of Romania Nicolae Dragoş-Pîslaru and Prince Michael von Liechtenstein.
CEO of PERN SA Igor Wasilewski referred over the Economic Forum to the need of completion of the construction of the third pipeline "Friendship". In turn, the President of Grupa LOTOS SA Robert Pietryszyn presented his company purchasing plants. He also stated that his company is not closed to the Baltic Sea and the Norwegian Sea. The Vice President Miroslaw Kochalski informed about the search of new oil supplies sources by PKN Orlen outside Russia. The head of PGNiG, Piotr Wozniak informed in Krynica about the planned by 2021 five-fold increase in production of gas in Norway. The President of Enea SA Miroslaw Kowalik teamed up with the Polish Real Estate Holding for the sale of electricity to the property of the Capital Group Polish Real Estate Holding. The President of PGE Polish Energy Group SA Henryk Baranowski presented the company's business strategy update for 2020, according to which the company plans to invest 34 billion over the next four years. The President of KGHM Polska Miedź SA Krzysztof Skóra over the Economic Forum in Krynica predicted a strong rebound in copper prices. The company PZU SA Krynica announced the acquisition of another large insurance company Enea. "We want to get new markets in the future" - PZU CEO Michał Krupiński said during the signing of an agreement with Enea. In turn, the President of the PKO BP Zbigniew Jagiello proposed three recipes to improve the economy and their structure.
For the first time The Polish Community Abroad Forum has been organized in Krynica this year by the Polish Senate and the Economic Forum. It has brought together politicians, business representation as well as the representatives of the Polish community abroad to discuss the state policy towards Polish Community Abroad and the Poles living abroad. According to the Speaker, the Economic Forum in Krynica is a great platform where the Polish Community Abroad has the opportunity to present their views, where all the parties involved can get together to reflect on the best use of the potential of 20 million of Poles living abroad. "We want to engage the Polish Community Abroad in the series of important events in Poland. We want Polish Diaspora to be our active partner in our joint work for Poland" – The Speaker of the Senate Stanislaw Karczewski said. The participants of the Polish Community Abroad Forum have all debated on how to use Polish Community Abroad in creating the image of Poland in the world. There have been a number of important topics raised, i.a.: the issues related to innovation, science and progress as well as building economic ties using scientific and intellectual potential and success of our compatriots leaving abroad. The panelists have also tackled the phenomenon of emigration and its consequences. Stanislaw Karczewski announced that the next edition of Polish Community Abroad Forum will be held over 2017 Economic Forum in Krynica.
An important initiative of 26th Economic Forum was the international conference "Europe of the Carpathians". On the initiative of the Speaker of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński the conference has brought together the representatives of national parliaments, government administration and experts from the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Serbia, as well as a large group of representatives of governments, environmental science and NGOs. The participants of the "Europe of the Carpathians" conference tackled over two day discussions the issues of cooperation in the Visegrad Group, the concept of Europe Carpathian Mountains as the geopolitical center for Central and Eastern Europe and the center for the region between the Adriatic Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, as well as the experience of 25 years of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and the Carpathian Strategy.
The Health Forum was also one of the important events held in the framework of the Economic Forum in Krynica. Over the last six years the Health Forum has become a place which presents the health care system in the broader perspective – both at a national and a local level. It also enables search of solutions system as well as the details of specific expert fields or organizational units. This year's discussion panels were focused on the issues pertaining to health and social policy, the model of financing health care system. Moreover the Forum tackled the role of local governments in the health care structure, the computerization of coordinated health care system as well as the quality of health care and the reduction of hospital reorganization cost. The Forum was attended by the Minister of Health of Poland Konstanty Radziwill , who declared that " we are doomed " to increasing outlay on health care – and also the responsibility of the state.
It is worth mentioning that during the 26th Economic Forum in Krynica the two agreements pertaining to the organization of the Industry Forum in Karpacz (8-10 December 2016) and 10th Forum Europe – Ukraine in Rzeszow (January 26-28 2017) were signed. The former in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Development Mateusz Morawiecki and the latter in the presence of the Speaker of the Polish Sejm Marek Kuchciński and the Minister of Treasury Dawid Jackiewicz.
The organizer of the Economic Forum in Krynica is the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies and the discussion panels are prepared in cooperation with more than 100 partners including the key players in their respective industries. The main partner of the Economic Forum is Malopolska Region.