XXVI Economic Forum in Krynica. United or Divided? Europe in the Face of the Challenges of Tomorrow.
Current, relevant, corresponding to the most important economic, social and political problems of Europe- these are the subjects that have been tackled over numerous editions of XXVI Economic Forum in Krynica, Poland. Its XXVI edition will be held on 6-8 September, 2016.
The debates of the Forum comprise over 180 panel discussions, lectures, workshops and regional and national presentations. The main theme over this year edition of the Forum will be the following: ‘The Challenges Facing Contemporary Europe – migration crisis, unstable economy, fading European solidarity’. – ‘Europe’s development in recent years has been inhibited by the series of crises: first the financial crisis, then debt crisis, respectively Ukrainian and now migration crisis’- said MEP Janusz Lewandowski stressing the importance of the decisions and actions taken by the government representatives and business leaders who get together each year in Krynica.
According to participants, the Economic Forum in Krynica Zdroj is the most important economy focused conference in Central Europe. It is in Krynica where for more than 20 years the key decision makers (the Prime Ministers, European governments’ representatives, the EU decision-makers, CEOs representing the European companies and also experts and economists) have been brought together.
The Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies is the organizer of XXVI Economic Forum.
For more information please contact Katarzyna Fossa at: firstname.lastname@example.org
9th Investment Forum
Local Government Today – People, Cooperation, Innovations
Europe must be rebuilt from scratch, but not starting from a roof- i.e. the EU institutions, but from the bottom –i.e. local communities – said Emil Boc, former Prime Minister of Romania, and now the mayor of Cluj-Napoca during the Opening Plenary Session of the II European Congress of Local Governments. The Congress was held at the Congress Centre ICE Krakow on April 5-6th. Participants of the session have agreed to the fact that local governments should have more autonomy, including financial. I'm afraid that there is a growing tendency in Europe of centralizing decisions and having strong government position- said Jan Rokita, the moderator of the Session.
The world is changing, the local governments are changing and the expectations of citizens are also changing – said Emil Boc. – However it would be a mistake to respond to the challenges of the future with the instruments of the past. The three key elements of these changes include smart cities, participatory democracy and a quality of life. Elżbieta Koterba, the Deputy Mayor of Krakow, emphasized that Krakow is the city where participatory democracy works and where citizens participation in the decision-making is still increasing. According to President Koterba the future of local governments depends on the creativity of the residents – they know the best how they want to live.
According Lilyana Pavlova, the Minister of Regional Development of Bulgaria, the foundation of the future of local governments is the balanced regional development. Therefore we have implemented our own ideas and have come up with the concept how to support them. These are funds but also intelligent management strategies – emphasized Minister Pavlova. When we talk about centralization – said Joakim Larsson, the President of the Parliament of the Västra Götaland Region in Sweden – we must remember that pushing the problems to a higher level does not help. You need to try to solve problems at the local level. In his view, local governments should decide on the biggest possible number of issues. Carla Rey, the Secretary General of AICCRE in Italy pointed out that in Europe there are more than 22,000 partner cities. As a result, Europe is becoming more diverse and the cities better solve problems of their residents. The local governments in Poland are strong and have sufficient powers, but their representatives have too little influence on what happens at the national level – claimed the participants of the debate, "City of the XXI century. Can mayors change the world? ". "In fact, one can change the world, maybe not in a large scale, because locally. There are tools and capabilities to get tangible results that can be easily seen by the residents" – stressed Zygmunt Frankiewicz - the President of Gliwice. Wojciech Lubawski, President of Kielce noted that representatives of local authorities have very little influence on what happens in the country – "they are kept at bay" by the central authorities.
Another debate- "Financing of education and reforms of education” aroused great interest. The key to the modernization of education in Poland is improving vocational education for teachers, who play the most important role in the education of young people – said Anna Zalewska Minister of Education. In her view, the role of governments is to provide appropriate equipment for schools and allocating the funds from educational grants for nurseries, kindergartens and schools development. Minister Zalewska has announced that, together with the Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieckim they are currently preparing a project that will support local governments in increasing the number of places in nurseries and kindergartens.
The participants of the debate "Services or industry – development dilemmas of Polish regions" have agreed that with no further investment in road and rail transport there will be no possibility of securing Poland’s sustainable development. We expect that the government will be well communicated with the rest of the country. Transport infrastructure is crucial and without it regions, particularly peripheral are unable to grow – said Olgierd Geblewicz, Marshal of West Pomeranian Province. The members of the debate also highlighted the problem of skilled workers drainage in the province. In Lublin there is a special need for all highly specialized technical workers, said Krzysztof Zuk, President of Lublin. Similar problem was referred to by Władysław Ortyl, Marshal of Podkarpackie. Adam Hamryszczak, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Development, noted that the most important issue, however, is to focus on the facilitation for businesses. That is simplification and harmonization of the provisions and amendments to the legal regulations on public procurement. The following Marshals of Province have also participated in the Congress: Jacek Krupa - Marshal of Lesser Poland, Elżbieta Anna Polak –Marshal of Lubusz Voivodeship, Wojciech Saługa - Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship, Witold Stępień – Marshal of Lodz Voivodeship and Marek Woźniak- Marshal of Greater Poland Voivodeship.
The Congress also brought together the high representatives of polish business. There were i.a. the following attendees: Marcin Animucki, Vice President, EKSTRAKLASA S.A .; Wieslaw Bury, CEO, MARR S.A .; Grzegorz Czapla, CEO, InData S.A .; Michał Czarnuch, Advisor, Law Firm Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka; Maciej Dopierała, President, XENTIVO; Jaroslaw Kołodziejczyk, Member of the Board PKP S.A .; Tomasz Kopiec, CEO, A.M.G. Finance; Czeslaw Lang, General Director, Lang Team, Magdalena Markiewicz, Board Member, ENERIS; Jan Pamuła, CEO, International Airport Krakow-Balice; Jakub Szulc, Director, Health Sector, EY, Poland; Marek Wierzbowski from Law Firm Marek Wierzbowski and Partners, Kacper Winiarczyk, General Manager, UBER; Maciej Zabelski, Plenipotentiary of the Board, the Property Management Fund Ltd.
The first day of the Second European Congress of Local Authorities was closed with the solemn gala "Leader of the Local Government 2015", when the best representatives of local governments were given special recognition. In the competition LEADER of the Local Government organized by Rzeczpospolita daily the following leaders were awarded with the title ‘Leader of Local Government 2015’: Tomasz Stolarczyk, Mayor of Rząśnia in Lodz Province, Igor Bandrowicz, Mayor of town and and the municipality of Prusice, Lower Silesia Province and Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of the City of Gdańsk.
The II European Congress of Local Governments held (5-6 April 2016) brought together over 1500 guests – representatives of local governments, public administrations, governments and parliaments, non-governmental organizations and business across Europe who attended over 80 panel discussions, workshops and presentations. The Organizer of the congress was the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies, /the organizer of the Economic Forum in Krynica-Zdroj/. The Partner of the Congress was the City of Krakow.