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4th European Economic Congress: 14th-16th May 2012

“A debate with European leaders about more than just the economy, finances and the climate and energy package” – This is how Professor Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament between 2009 and 2012, describes the 4th European Economic Congress (EEC) in Katowice. The largest business event in Central Europe will be held from the 14th to the 16th of May at eleven locations across Katowice.
The three days of the Congress will be filled with numerous debates, meetings and accompanying events bringing together nearly six thousand guests from across the globe. For the fourth time, the capital of Upper Silesia will host a meeting between key figures of the world of politics, business, science and the economy.

“When selecting the themes of the debates to be held during the European Economic Congress, we draw on the experience gained during the previous editions of the EEC, and at the same time we ensure that the agenda includes the most current problems of the Polish and European economy,” said Wojciech Kuśpik, initiator of the European Economic Congress and President of the Management Board of the PTWP SA Group, at the press conference announcing the event.

Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2012, is the Head of the Programme Board of the European Economic Congress. His authority is a guarantee of the event’s high quality.

The leading theme of this year’s fourth edition of the Congress will be “Europe 2020”, i.e. the European strategy meant to respond to the challenges of the sovereign debt crisis and the economic slowdown. Right now Europe is working on the Community’s financial framework and launching development mechanisms which will serve to execute a new model of the Union’s economic development. The financial crisis in the European Union creates special dynamics for the EU’s remedial activities.

Another key theme to be addressed at the 4th European Economic Congress will be the roadmap of the European energy policy towards 2050, setting the course for achieving a low-emission economy. Climate protection policies in the context of the competitiveness of the industry, the pursuit of energy security for the entire Union, the future of the common European energy market – these are some of the areas in which the integration ideal finds its key and practical reflection.

Participants of the 4th EEC will ask a number of important questions about innovation. Why is Europe falling behind in the global race towards modernity? What are the conditions necessary for a European breakthrough in the field of innovativeness? What factors drive its development? What cooperation models between science and business can prove effective in practice?

The European Union and Central European countries in the face of the economic slowdown are other key themes of this year’s European Economic Congress. This framework includes such issues as the “old” and “new” Europe – the relations, differences and competitive edges, common development of the economy in uncertain times, more integration – the energy of Central Europe in the face of the Union’s internal crisis, infrastructure and access to natural resources, the market and investments, economic growth and changes in the East and the EU’s foreign policy as a chance for a new driver behind economic development.

The themes addressed at the 4th EEC reach far beyond the Old World. A key debate will address the cooperation between Europe and China, presenting a balance sheet of Chinese direct foreign investments in European countries, as well as an assessment of the effectiveness of the Chinese capital on the financial market in Europe and the opportunities for Chinese investors in Europe. The forum will also include such topics as European investors in Asia, the development needs of the Chinese economy, technology, innovativeness, know-how and other assets of European companies in the Middle Kingdom, the perception of China as an economic and trade partner for Europe, the economic image of Europe in China, stereotypes and prejudices in light of rapidly changing situations and the role of Poland as a partner of China in Europe.

The list of themes of the 2012 European Economic Congress would not be complete without debates focusing on energy, finances, transport, mining, metallurgy, heat generation, the gas market and construction. The 4th edition of the EEC will be held right before the 2012 European Football Championship when, once again, the eyes of Europe will be upon Poland. Euro 2012, as a huge business project, is yet another area for debate at the 2012 European Economic Congress.

The European Economic Congress will be preceded by such events as a conference in Prague revolving around the economic relations between Poland and the Czech Republic. The Congress itself will be accompanied by a number of events, including the above-mentioned Chinese-European Forum as well as the awards gala as part of the 2012 Top Municipal Investments competition, the finale of the “Energy-Efficient Poland” campaign and the awards ceremony of the Polish Entrepreneurship Development Agency.

“We have invited university students and graduates to work with us on the organisation of the EEC. To execute a unique project promoting initiatives executed thanks to EU finding, we have enlisted the help of artists, designers and the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. We will report on our progress as we go along,” said Wojciech Kuśpik at the press conference.