132 sessions, 700 speakers, over 9,000 participants, including 660 media representatives – the ninth edition of the European Economic Congress (EEC) has ended in Katowice. The Congress was attended by representatives of the EU administration, the Polish Government, the Polish and EU Parliaments, Ministers and Deputy Ministers from Europe and around the world, CEOs from the largest businesses, experts, and opinion leaders. The European Start-up Days held in parallel in the Spodek Arena was visited by over 2,500 people.
“Once again, the European Economic Congress spoke with a strong voice in economic circles on what will decide the future of Europe and Poland. For three days Katowice was the meeting place for various professional groups and opinions. The diversity of views on issues discussed by us showed the enormous value of the project, generated ideas, and allowed us to observe trends which will impact on the economy in the period to come. This year’s edition of the Congress was attended by over 9,000 participants, and the European Start-up Days by more than 2,500. If entrepreneurs or young people display such huge interest in such an event, it means that creating space for dialogue and the establishment of business relations makes sense”, said Wojciech Kuśpik, President of the PTWP SA Group, initiator of the European Economic Congress, summarising this year’s edition of the event.
The following persons were among the guests of the 9th European Economic Congress in Katowice (10-12 May 2017): Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Energy Union; Krzysztof Szczerski, Secretary of State at the Chancellery the President of the Republic of Poland; four Ministers of the Republic of Poland – Witold Bańka, Minister of Sport and Tourism, Jarosław Gowin, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Science and Higher Education, Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development, Krzysztof Tchórzewski, Minister of Energy – and Deputy Ministers of the Republic of Poland, Ministers and Deputy Ministers of foreign governments, Presidents and CEOs, and Deputy Presidents of the largest businesses, enterprises, and institutions from all around the world.
The opening of the 9th edition of the European Economic Congress in Katowice was attended, among others, by Mikuláš Dzurinda, President of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Prime Minister of Slovakia 1998-2006; Jan Fischer, Czech politician, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic 2009-2010; Andrius Kubilius, Lithuanian politician, Prime Minister of Lithuania 1999-2000 and 2008-2012; Konrad Szymański, Secretary of State for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland; and also Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament, President of the European Parliament between 2009 and 2012, Polish Prime Minister between 1997 and 2001, President of the EEC Council. Discussions held during the three-day debates centred on the future of the changing Europe.
“During the three-day event a number of important issues about the future shape of Europe were tackled. I think that the most-important conclusion is that given the context of inevitable changes in the European Union, care should be taken over what has been an enormous development impulse over the last few years, and which gives us a sense of security and stability”, said Wojciech Kuśpik.
The special guests of the 9th edition of the European Economic Congress in Katowice also included Arvind Bali, CEO, Videocon, India; Jos Delbeke, Director-General for Climate Action of the European Commission; Christian Ehler, Member of the European Parliament, Member, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE); David Harmon, Vice-President, Global Public Affairs, Huawei; Eugene Kandel, Israeli economist, CEO, Start-Up Nation Central, and Professor of Economics and Finance at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Jaromír Kohlíček, Member of the European Parliament, Deputy Chairman, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE); Ivana Maletić, Member of the European Parliament; Preston McAfee, Chief Economist, the Microsoft Corporation; Mirek Topolánek, Member of the Board of Directors of Eustream, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic 2006-2009, and Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, Minister of Energy for the Republic of Lithuania.
The European Economic Congress in Katowice was attended by enterprises from Poland, Central Europe, and international corporations such as 3M, ArcelorMittal, Atende, BASF, Budimex, Canon, Deutsche Bank, Echo Investment, Enea, EY, the PKP Group, HSBC, ING Bank, Huawei, Kapsch, KGHM Polska Miedź, KPMG, Microsoft, Orlen, PGE, PGNiG, PwC, Siemens, and Veolia, as well as leading Polish companies dynamically expanding into foreign markets – Maspex, Polpharma, Synthos, TDJ, and URSUS.
The leading topics of the 9th edition of the European Economic Congress included new ideas for Europe – political transformations in the European Union; the economy after Brexit, and the likelihood of other exits; the crisis as perceived by liberal capitalism; the hierarchy of values in the economy in the age of new generations of employees; the 4th industrial revolution – how to develop industry using the latest technologies and on the basis of digitisation; and investments in times of instability – risks, barriers, courage, and profits.
The agenda of the Congress also included sessions on such topics of the economy and public life as finances, innovations, technologies and mankind, power and resources, mining and metallurgy, management, self-governance and regional politics, the infrastructure, the health market, transport and logistics, construction and real properties, and global economic co-operation.
The following events were held during the 9th European Economic Congress in Katowice: the Poland-India Economic Forum, the 4th Africa and Central Europe Economic Co-operation Forum, panel sessions devoted to economic relations between China and Central Europe, and between China and Poland, and also Poland-Israel economic and Poland-Kazakhstan meetings.
Organised for the second time the European Start-up Days was an event accompanying the 9th edition of the European Economic Congress, which created the scope for an open dialogue among start-ups, investors, and business-support organisations. The winners of the Start-up Challenge competition presented their start-ups on the presentation stage of the European Economic Congress at the International Congress Centre in Katowice, and in front of the European Start-up Days at the Spodek Sports and Entertainment Arena.
“We are happy that the Congress has increasingly more young businesses, new generations who have changed their ties to T-shirts – that is a noticeable change. A mixture of those just starting and experienced businesses is bringing about good, creative energy and specific business relations, with both groups benefitting”, summarised Wojciech Kuśpik.
The best start-ups in Poland were, in Industry 4.0. robotics, automation, IT, and new materials – Sky Tronic; in the field of business & ICT management, analytics, decision-making processes, and HR – ChallengeRocket; in terms of tradition & modernity, industry, energy, telecommunications, and logistics – Gradis; in the for-humans category, biotechnology, medicine, and ecology – Laparo; in the Client & business category, trade, customer experience, and fintech – Tosend; and the winner in the lifestyle, leisure industry, and other, was DDOB.pl.
EEC – The Leaders of Tomorrow, a project whose purpose is to create and promote a proactive citizenship attitude, and to increase the engagement of young persons in public life, was also continued. Once again students were offered open lectures, the possibilities of attending as discussion speakers or listeners, and co-operation while arranging the event. Lectures for students were delivered by, among others.
Arvind Bali, CEO, Videocon; Robert Gwiazdowski, Chairman of the Council of the Adam Smith Institute; Zbigniew Jakubas, owner of the Multico Corporate Group; Andrius Kubilius, Lithuanian politician, Prime Minister of Lithuania 1999-2000 and 2008-2012; Prince Michael von Liechtenstein, Chairman of the Board, Geopolitical Information Service AG; Krzysztof Materna, co-owner of MM Communications; and Wadim Tyszkiewicz, Mayor of Nowa Sól.
During a gala accompanying the EEC the best-practices and investment-success stories were awarded in the 6th edition of the Top Communal Investments competition. This was a special edition focused on projects completed under a public and private partnership (PPP). The awarded communes included Warsaw, Kraków, Płock, Poznań, Wrocław, Sierpc, Katowice, Solec-Zdrój, and Szydłowiec.
Also, prizes in the competition for the Local-Government Leader 2016 were presented. PortalSamorządowy.pl, together with its publishers the PTWP Group, the organiser of the EEC, announced three categories in which readers could select the best local-government leaders, the best voivodeship Marshal, the best town Mayor, and the best Councillor. Distinctions were presented to Elżbieta Radwan, Mayor of Wołomin; Adam Struzik, Marshal of the Masovian Voivodeship; and Zbigniew Jurkowski, Councillor of the City of Lublin.
Foreign investors in Poland and Polish businesses investing abroad were winners of honorary distinctions in the Investor Without Borders competition. Among others, the following factors were considered – the scale of the investments, their impact on the Polish economy’s potential, their innovative nature (the transfer of technologies and know-how), and the importance of investments for the Polish labour market and for building the brand of Poland in the world.
The premises of the International Congress Centre in Katowice and the Spodek Sports and Entertainment Arena linked with it were venues for discussions, meetings, presentations, and the exchange of opinions.
The European Economic Congress (EEC) in Katowice is a three-day cycle of debates, meetings and accompanying events, with the attendance of over 8 thousand guests from Poland, Europe, and the world at large. Almost 100 sessions are attended every year by several hundred panellists, including EU commissioners, Prime Ministers and representatives of European governments, the CEOs of the largest companies, scientists and practitioners, and decision-makers who impact on economic and social life in real terms. Among opinion leaders, in the form of open public debate, discussions are held on issues which are crucial to Europe’s development.
The European Economic Congress has been recognised as a forum for the most-representative discussions on Europe’s future. The theses from presentations by the most-important participants are often quoted and widely commented on.
The European Economic Congress has been organised by the PTWP SA Group since the first edition in 2009.