Since 2007 an integral part of the Economic Forum has been the Regions Forum – a platform for exchanging views and a meeting place for local government leaders and regional elites from Central Europe with business and academia. The debates of last year’s 14th Forum of the Regions included the topics of sustainable development of regions, waste management, improvement of the quality of life of inhabitants, new investments and development of infrastructure.
Due to the great interest in local government topics, a separate event, the European Congress of Local Governments, was organised in 2015. In 2019, the 5th European Congress of Local Governments was attended by nearly 2,100 participants from almost 40 countries, including more than 100 journalists. The programme included 187 events divided into 11 thematic tracks, including programme blocks, panels, workshops, lectures, presentations and “success stories” talks. Discussions were traditionally held within the thematic tracks such as: Finance, Society, Innovation, Economy, Environment, Development and Health.
In 2020, due to the epidemiological situation in the country, the European Congress of Local Governments was held ONLINE. In the organised panels, workshops and discussions, the participants tried to find answers to the questions of how to support the Polish economy in a difficult period, strengthen local business and revive interregional cooperation. Other topics discussed included the role of Central European regions in building regional partnerships, the impact of the epidemic on the implementation of the Smart City vision, health care in the era of Covid-19, and the competitiveness of local businesses against large corporations.
Since the third edition of the congress it has been accompanied by the Financial Ranking of Local Governments in Poland – a document highlighting the financial condition of Polish local governments, the only study in the country which covers all local government units. It is comprehensive, apolitical, objective and measured with current economic indicators.
Planned topics of the “Local Government Academy” programme:
• Public services management
• Cultural units management
• Leadership, innovation and effective decision-making
• Local economic development