Press releases

Year 2016

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:

9th Investment Forum

This year edition of the Investment Forum has been its 9th edition. The following topics: how to support innovative solutions, what is the importance of technology in business development, how energy sector and science create the technology of the future – these were the leading topics of 9. Investment Forum in Tarnów.
The Investment Forum was opened by Christian Buchmann, Chairman of the ECON Committee and the Regional Minister of Economy and Tourism in Styria. He said: ”It is an unusual pleasure to open the conference of the Committee of the Regions. The European economy is slowly recovering after the crisis, but we want to be competitive in the market – we create new ideas, new trends and startups. Of course there are the regions in Europe that are more developed, but Europe as a whole remains a little behind, so we have to strengthen their competitiveness.
Jacek Krupa, the Marshal of the Malopolska Region stressed that Investment Forum in Tarnów, is an important event in our region. He added that thanks to the ECON Committee meeting this year Forum’s addition has key importance. The development of entrepreneurship, better conditions for business – this is our priority, so therefore we support their development/. We invest in people and their potential, knowledge and creativity. Success is not built Individually.
Roman Ciepiela, President of Tarnow said that the Innovation Forum were being held in Tarnow in time of dynamic changes. The support to innovative solutions can become a driving force for innovative development.  He stressed the importance of system solutions and the fact that currently we are witnessing the fourth digital revolution. Therefore, as Mr Ciepiela added: “we need to develop innovative solutions and the meetings of the format of 9.Innovation Forum are of special importance and are highly required.
Elizabeth Bieńkowska, the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services said that Europe needs innovative technologies and innovative businesses – therefore regions are of special importance here. Ms Bienkowska added: “we are trying to remove the barriers stopping innovations. We want to improve the environment for startups development. We will not replace, however, the region and their daily support given to entrepreneurs. Therefore the supra-regional cooperation is also required.
The participants of the first discussion panel of 9. Investment Forum discussed the ways innovations can effect business development. Mariusz Bober, the President of the Azoty Group referred to innovations from the business perspective. He said: “ A few decades ago, innovation was a long innovation. Today innovation can be a brief innovation therefore I would link the concept of innovation with the concept of flexibility. These are the people who have the ability of innovating and who can invent new things. This is not done neither by the machines nor money”.
The meeting was also an opportunity to exchange experience with other countries. The Danish approach to innovation was presented by Diana Arsovic Nielsen, the Director for Innovation in Copenhagen. She said: “We have forty-eight thousand employees. Only the combination of their expertise is the key to innovation and more efficient and productive solutions – she said, adding that it is important to listen to the needs and social problems. Otherwise, the activities may focus on the wrong purposes”.
The issues of investment in R&D were also raised at the Forum. The Deputy Minister of Development, Jerzy Kwieciński drew attention to the insufficient level of innovation in Polish companies, especially in the service sector. He stressed the importance for our government of strengthening the innovativeness of our economy. He concluded: “If we are talking about reindustrialization, it should be done through digitization and innovation. The same applies to foreign expansion of our business”. –“ we truly want to sell products with high added value, giving high margins” – stressed the Minister.
The first day of 9. Investment Forum in Tarnów was closed with the Gala Ceremony, during which the Investment of the Year and the Investor of the Year awards were announced and given and when the winner of the Startup Award was presented.
The title of the Investor of the Year was given to Mr Sławomir Rusinek, the co-founder of Maspex Group, for his investment in Ski Arena Słotwiny in Krynica. The laudation was given by Mr Roman Ciepiela, the President of Tarnow, and a prize handed by Ms Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Minister of Development.
The prize for the best investment was given to Wilk Elektronik – the Europe's leading manufacturers of computer memory modules, the owner of GOODRAM brand. The laudation was delivered by the Chairman of the Economic Forum Program -Mr. Zygmunt Berdychowski. The award was handed over by Mr. Pawel Szefernaker, Secretary of State in the Prime Minister's Office.
This year edition of Startup Award and  Robot Show have attracted almost 80 projects, not only from Poland but also from i. a.: Bulgaria and Ukraine. The Selecting Chapter have selected 15 innovative projects. The authors of the LGM generators were announced the winners of Startup Award Competition in 2016. The prize – a check for PLN 100 000 was handed over to the winners by the Speaker of the Senate Stanislaw Karczewski. PKN Orlen, the Economic Forum and the city of Tarnow – these are the founders of the prize in the competition.
The Selecting Chapter House have decided to give the honorary award to one of the finalists- Sidly.
The company has received the opportunity to give the presentation during the XXVI Economic Forum in Krynica (6-8 September). Sidly has also received the audience award and seven hours of consulting firm PwC.
Over the second day of the Forum the participants discussed, among others: an integrated electronic health care system and the need for unification of the system for clinics and hospitals. Stanislaw Karczewski, the Speaker of the Senate stressed – that if we have a good flow of information we will be able to reduce the queues to the doctors in public health centers. Over the discussion the issue of coordinated care system was also tackled. The Speaker of the Senate stressed that it is not a specialized treatment, but primary care that should solve majority of patient’s medical problems.
The Forum was closed with a ROBOT SHOW gala, during which the constructed machines were shown by university students and students of graduation year of technical schools. The winners of the first edition of the contest were the following contestants: - Krzysztof Kieroński, Łukasz Lizak and Daniel Krzyzanowski - the authors of an automated warehouse handling goods. They have received a scholarship for PLN 10,000.
The Competition was held under the honorary patronage of Lesser Polska Marshal.

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.