The Record-Breaking Economic Forum is behind us!

Summary of the 30th Economic Forum in Karpacz

The Record-Breaking Economic Forum is behind us!

The jubilee edition of the Economic Forum was held at the beginning of September in the Gołębiewski Hotel in Karpacz. 4350 guests from the world of politics, business and science participated in the conference throughout three days.

“We managed to create this unique institution together – institution, the greatest value of which is the fact that we only talk to each other. We have no other plans, we do not want to engage our guests in any other way. We only want them to talk to each other,” said Mr Zygmunt Berdychowski, Chairman of the Economic Forum Programme Council and initiator of the conference, during the Forum in Karpacz.

Forum has been the platform for the meetings of key representatives from the world of business, science and politics from the CEE region for over 30 years. The jubilee edition of the Forum in 2021 was record-breaking in many ways. The conference was attended by 4350 guests from dozens of countries. They had a chance to participate in over 400 events – discussion panels, debates and plenary sessions. As many as 450 media representatives were present during the Forum. They generated over 10 thousand publications on the conference in total, including almost 500 in foreign media. In turn, 156 institutions and companies became partners to the 30th Economic Forum. The jubilee edition of the Forum broke all the records from the past years, strengthening its position as the biggest multinational economic-political conference in the region.

Political summit in Karpacz – Forum Guests from the Country and Region

The coronavirus pandemic did not hinder organisers from inviting key politicians from the country and region to the Forum. The conference gathered numerous representatives of different political options of the Polish political scene. Karpacz was visited by many deputies, senators, majority of ministers, Prime Minister – Mr Mateusz Morawiecki, and two Deputy Prime Ministers – Mr Piotr Gliński and Mr Jacek Sasin. The representatives of many opposite parties were present as well, among others, Szymon Hołownia, Jarosław Gowin, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz and Krzysztof Gawkowski, as well as numerous representatives of local authorities, including hosts of the event: Marshal of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Cezary Przybylski and Mayor of City Karpacz, Radosław Jęcek.

The Gołębiewski Hotel was visited also by heads of governments from two other countries – Janez Jansa, Prime Minister of Slovenia and Denys Shmygal, Prime Minister of Ukraine. During the conference, there was a prominent representation of the Belarusian opposition, with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in the lead, as well as the representation from the Baltic countries. Additionally, the event in Karpacz was attended by politicians from outside of Europe, including Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Georgette Mosbacher, former Ambassador of the United States to Poland, and H.E. Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President of the Republic of Liberia. Janusz Wojciechowski, the European Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, was present as well.

In Karpacz, the representatives of Polish and foreign companies and institutions operating regionally and globally debated over the most crucial economic topics. Among them were, Marcin Chludziński, President of the Management Board of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., Jan Emeryk Rościszewski, President of the Management Board of PKO Bank Polski, Teresa Czerwińska, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Leszek Skiba and Jerzy Kwieciński, President and Vice-President of the Management Board of Pekao S.A., Krzysztof Mamiński, President of the Management Board of Polskie Koleje Państwowe S.A., Olgierd Cieślik, President of the Management Board of Totalizator Sportowy, Dimitri Gitas, Executive Director of MSD Polska, David Anderson, Senior Vice-President  on Renewables Growth at BP PLC, Tomasz Suchański, President of the Management Board of Żabka Polska Sp. z o. o. and Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN Orlen.

 

What Will be the Future of Europe? – Topics at the 30th Economic Forum

The theme of this year’s Economic Forum is “Europe in Search of Leadership” and it was also the main focus of discussions. The key representatives of politics, business and science from the CEE region debated over the future of the European Community and changes in Europe forced by the pandemic. Many debates focused also on the second big challenge of the future next to the pandemic – global warming and the energy transition it entails. During six plenary sessions at the Forum the following topics were covered:

  • “New Deal 2021 – Opportunity or challenge?”,
  • “Europe in Search of Leadership”,
  • “Times of Change. Europe at the Threshold of a New Decade”,
  • “Challenges of the Post-Covid Era”,
  • “The Post-Pandemic World. Economy, Sovereignty, Solidarity”,
  • “Europe: Direction Recovery”.

Plenary sessions provided an opportunity for the leaders of the states in the region not only to present their opinions on the most important social and economic topics but also to search for common solutions. Discussion panels, the number of which reached almost 400 during the three-day conference, played a similar role. They were divided into 16 programme paths, including the Healthcare Forum, which is organised every year, Polish Community Forum, Ukrainian Forum and Forum of Regions. Other issues discussed at the Forum included international politics, energy and security.

 

Cooperation with researchers – Report prepared by SGH Warsaw School of Economics and the Economic Forum

Since 2018, the presentation of the Report prepared jointly by the organiser and the Warsaw School of Economics in Warsaw has been the crucial element of the Economic Forum. That is the most important and most comprehensive publication concerning economic and social status in Poland and the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

The report delivered by 55 experts from the best economic university in Poland focused on 11 research areas, including development transformation of the CEE countries, labour market transitions, active ageing and impact of the pandemic on the banking sector. The presentation of the Report took place on the first day of the Forum and it was attended by Mr Piotr Wachowiak, Rector of the Warsaw University of Economics; Mr Zygmunt Berdychowski, Chairman of the Economic Forum Programme Council, Mr Piotr Gliński, Deputy Prime Minister; Professor Teresa Czerwińska, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, as well as authors and editors of the publication.

Economic Forum Awards

The Economic Forum also features annual awards for distinguished individuals, organisations and companies in Central and Eastern Europe. Each evening at the conference was concluded with award galas graced with music performances of, among others, Kasia Moś and Orchestra of The Lower Silesian Philharmonic.

This year, the Man of the Year award was granted to Mr Janez Jansa, Prime Minister of Slovenia, which was presented by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. “Today it is people like Janez Jansa who raise awareness and remind us of what the Solidarity revolution was for”, said Mr Zygmunt Berdychowski, Chairman of the Economic Forum Programme Council, during his laudation.

The Economic Forum award for the Company of the Year 2020 was granted to KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., and of the Non-Governmental Organisation of the Year 2020 was presented to The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (ZHP). The special award was also granted to the Society of Ukraine (collected by Prime Minister Denys Shmygal) and also to the Polish Community, which was collected by Ms Angelika Borys, The Union of Poles in Belarus and Mr Andrzej Poczobut, Member of its Supervisory Board.  On behalf of the activists imprisoned in Belarus, the award was received by union representatives Irena Biernacka and Maria Tishkovska.


Round jubilee – 30 years of the Forum

The Hotel Gołębiewski was also a venue for the gala on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Economic Forum. During the event, the most important moments in the history of the meeting, which has been organised for three decades in Krynica and Karpacz and which has hosted renowned European leaders, experts, businessmen, scientists and people of culture, were brought back in a short film.

During the jubilee gala, awards were also presented to people and institutions who have given impetus to the development of the Forum over the years. Awards in the “Personality” category were granted to Mr Marek Kuchciński, Speaker of the Sejm, Mr Andrzej Adamczyk, Minister of Infrastructure and Mr Paweł Borys, President of the Polish Development Fund. At the same time, the honoured companies included: Philips, Totalizator Sportowy and MSD Polska.

Throughout the 30 years of the conference, plenty of extremely important economic, political and social events for Poland and the world, in general, took place at the conference. During the presentation of the history of the Forum, the most important ones were recalled. The presentation was divided into three decades and began with the year 1989 – the beginning of the changes in our part of Europe, and ended with today’s reality – the coronavirus pandemic.

During the gala, the successive phases of the Forum’s formation were presented. It was presented how a conference organised for the first time in 1992 soon became the “Central European Davos” – a place where leading politicians from different political options from our region discuss with each other and make important declarations. Today, the Economic Forum is a unique event in the region, visited by about 4350 guests and 450 media representatives from all over the world, which continues to grow even despite the pandemic.

 

Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies is the organiser of the 30th Economic Forum. The key partners to the event is Marshal Office of Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Partners: The City of Wrocław and the Host City – Karpacz, Wrocław Airport and Lower Silesian Agency for Economic Cooperation. Strategic Partners are: KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. and Hotel Gołębiewski.

Link to public chronicle with photos: https://bit.ly/3tM2aa2