The Plenary Session “From Globalisation to Economic Patriotism. Europe In Search of New Development Paths”

The Plenary Session “From the Globalization of Economic Patriotism. Europe in Search of New Ways of Development” began the second day of the XXVI Economic Forum in Krynica. The representatives of governments, international organizations, as well as business practitioners discussed the threats for the common market that are brought with the crisis in the European Union as well as the growth opportunities for companies in tough competitive conditions. The risks of current geopolitical situation are mirrored to a large extent in the economic and financial situation of many national and global companies.

Christian Friis Bach, the UN Under-Secretary General, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations warned of the possibility of disintegration, not just in Europe. – We are at a turning point. We are dealing with the economic crisis, migration crisis and climate crisis. We can observe withdrawal of the UN system and how trust between states is being lost – he said.

On the other hand, Jan Mládek, the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade reminded that globalization is more acceptable for small countries, like the Czech Republic.

– Historically, we were not the ones who created the law, only those who have taken this law. Large states are not accustomed with being imposed by others.

But whatever happens we should always be “on the wave” – he said, admitting that it is worth to reap the benefits of globalization, but at the same time countries need to develop their own development paths.

Rokas Masiulis, Minister for Energy of Lithuania focused on the drawbacks of the common market. In his opinion, “one scheme does not work in every industry.”

– Globalization works in trade, but not in the power industry. In Lithuania, it was a bargaining card. Lithuania, which a neighbouring country to Russia, to a large extent has been dependent on Russia, he said.

Dawid Jackiewicz, Minister of State Treasury, gave special recognition to Lithuania which consistently pursues a policy of energy independence. In his opinion, there is no full readiness to strengthen the integration. There is some opposition, also in the form of economic patriotism, “understood not as a protest against the EU, but the awareness that in today’s Union where the position of the state is measured by its economic strength, there should be a special emphasis put on the private entities.”

– The European Union is currently undergoing the most serious crisis in its history. It might not even be solved – wondered Jackiewicz.

Penelope Naas, the Managing Director and Regional Manager for International Public Affairs and Sustainability at UPS Europe SA in turn stressed that currently the digital transformation, is carried out in economy and companies are trying to get the best out of the process.

– We are trying to develop in a sustainable manner.  We want to grow and to serve customers. But there is a more rapid change than ever. Twenty-three years ago, we focused on the common European market and it has allowed us to invest another $ 2 billion to improve the quality of our service – she said.

Naas added that she regrets that the British made a decision to leave the EU, however “the access to the European trade will continue to be a priority for the British”.

The consent for the common course political and economic action was expressed by the Adam Sawicki, the CEO of T-Mobile Poland.

-There is no contradiction between patriotism and national economy. European companies managed to be listed in the group of the 20 largest companies. Currently, there are two of them and a few years ago there were many more of them – he admitted.

He referred to Sweden which is a homeland to  many global companies, i.a.: IKEA, Volvo, Ericcson, Tetra Pack and they have had global success.

– In Europe there is no common digital market. The challenge is to create strategies that will allow us to catch up with the United States –  Sawicki said.