European Economic Congress crossed halfway mark

Politicians, scientists, financiers and businessmen – almost 500 speakers – participated in 50 debates today, within the European Economic Congress 2012. The second day of this largest business event in Central Europe was dominated by issues relating to European funds, energy policy and transport. What theses were put forward by the Congress guests?

Almost 10 topical sessions of the second day of the Congress were devoted to financial issues. The panellists discussed EU funds, local government finances, pension funds and the EU banking sector. The debates were attended by Elżbieta Chojna-Duch, Member of the Monetary Policy Council, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, 1994-1995 and 2007-2009; Danuta Hübner, Member of the European Parliament, Chairwoman of the Committee on Regional Development in the European Parliament; Kim Kreilgaard, Head of Division for Lending Operations in Poland, European Investment Bank; Georg Milbradt, Prime Minister of Saxony 2002-2008, Germany; Elżbieta Suchocka-Roguska, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, 2004-2010 and Advisor to the President of the National Bank of Poland, and Joachim Zeller, Member of the European Parliament and Member of the Committee for Regional Development from Germany.

– Let’s not pretend that Europe does not have years of weak growth ahead of it. The economic forecasts tell us that we are right in the middle of stagnation, and so the correct balance must be kept between fiscal charges and budget expenditure. It is without a doubt that a consolidation of individual budgets of the member states and the EU itself will progress – said Danuta Hübner, Member of the European Parliament, Chairwoman of the Committee on Regional Development in the European Parliament.

– GDP growth in 2012 might be above 3 percent. Inflation at the turn of 2012 and 2013 will be lowered down to the level of the inflation target, and the monetary policy should soon enter the period of “wait and see” (…). Inflation should slow down in the coming months, but it could be higher in June, temporarily and in some locations, such as the cities where Euro 2012 is held. We do hope that this situation will not spread to the rest of the country, and inflation should not be higher than 4 percent. I hope that at the turn of this year, inflation will be lower again, around the level of the inflation target, was the evaluation offered by Elżbieta Chojna-Duch from the Monetary Policy Council.

Among the debates dedicated to the energy sector there was a discussion on the Energy Roadmap 2050 and the Future European Energy Mix. The positions of the member states towards the reduction thresholds for CO2 emission were presented by Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament, 2009-2012, Prime Minister, 1997-2001; Ivo Hlaváč, Deputy Minister, Director of the Environmental Protection Directorate in the Czech Ministry of Environment; Beata Jaczewska, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Environment; Arvydas Sekmokas, Lithuanian Minister of Energy and Günter Verheugen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry 2004-2010 and European Commissioner for Enlargement 1999-2004. The discussions extended into the topics of the future of European energy, common European infrastructural projects in the spheres of gas, energy and liquid fuel transfers, investments in the Polish energy generation industry and railway transport and the Polish air transport market.

– It is not a secret that there is hardly a queue for the privatization of LOT – admitted Rafał Baniak, Deputy Minister of the State Treasury – but there are a few interested parties. We are talking to them and so far by the end of this year we wish to change the LOT stock ownership composition. (…) We want to fly further, and we are thinking about Tokyo and Chinese cities other than Bejing. There is no business without mobility, and the lack of connections with China is a barrier for further development of Polish-Chinese economic cooperation.

The Polish-Czech Economic Forum took place yet again during the European Economic Congress, as did the award ceremony of Golden Certificates of Reliability.

The second day of the Congress panels took place in the Silesian Theater, the Monopol Hotel, Offices of the Silesian Province Authorities, the Biuro Centrum building, Hotel Angelo, Novotel Katowice Centrum, Goldstein Palace and the Auditorium of Bank Śląski ING.

source: press office of EEC