Between 4 and 6 September, 2012 Krynica-Zdrój hosted for the 22nd time prestigious Economic Forum, this year entitled “New visions for difficult times. Europe and the world in the face of crisis”. During three intensive days of debates, discussion panels and press conferences politicians, economists and experts from various fields were discussing current political-economic problems. The Forum was officially opened by the President Bronisław Komorowski, who in his speech put emphasis on the ways to fight against the crisis – maintaining absorptive internal market, looking for ways to decrease unemployment and opening up to new sectors of economic activities. During whole Forum panelists often referred to President’s opening speech.
Discussion entitled “Economic reforms as a solution to the crisis”, moderated by Paweł Lisicki, was one of the most interesting panels. Participants of the discussion included former President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski, State Minister from the Hungarian Ministry of National Economy Zoltan Csefalvay, Janusz Steinoff from the Polish Chamber of Commerce, Mirek Topolanek from the Czech District Heating Association and Gunter Verheugen, former European Commissioner for Enlargement. Discussion focused mainly on the problem of carrying out painful economic reforms, panelists were considering to what extent it is possible to implement reforms and to keep high political support at the same time. As the examples show, it is rarely possible to maintain both these trends – politicians carrying out reforms usually pay high price for that noting significant decrease in political support, they are hardly ever elected for the second term in the same office. An interesting case now is Hungary, where ruling party Fidesz has majority in the parliament, thanks to which it managed to carry out radical reforms both in economy and in constitutional law, and still maintains relatively high political support among the voters.
Another interesting discussion took place during the panel moderated by Andrew Michta, entitled “Turn of the USA towards Asia: what consequences for Europe?”. Panelists – Mieczysław Cieniusz from the Polish Army, Julian Lindley-French from the Atlantic Council of the United States and Peter Harry Lund from the United European Forces – discussed not only political-military turn of the USA towards Asia, but also very crucial issue of the importance of soft power in contemporary world. Thesis saying that soft power, namely non-military tools, is playing more and more important role in contemporary international relations, seems to be completely justified.
A person interested in media had to find fascinating panel entitled “Is it
possible to understand a world from distance – international themes in media”, moderated by Paweł Lisicki. Participants included Ryan Chilcote from Bloomberg, David Wighton from The Times, Roman Imielski from Gazeta Wyborcza and Die Welt’s correspondent in Warsaw, Gerhard Gnauck. Panelists agreed that media should and can show events from far-away corners of the world in a way enabling a reader or a viewer to understand the problem. There was no doubt as to the most efficient way of covering such topics – with the help of correspondents or freelancers who are on the spot and can show the events in a clear way. Thanks to them the news are released without any unnecessary delay and are shown as objectively as possible. The discussions tackled the issues of objectivity of people working in the middle of happenings as well as financial problems that affect number of correspondents that media have at their disposal. Discussion was interesting also because the choice of panelists enabled presenting different perspectives – from the big prestigious newspaper reaching international audience, through national newspaper to the “backstage” of job of a correspondent. Interested in media surely paid attention also to another panel entitled “Books and press – digitally. Evolution of the distribution model”, moderated by Grzegorz Cydejko from Forbes Polska, where discussion focused mainly on the question how to successfully distribute books and press in the Internet era.
Another panel concerning Internet focused more on how the web affects political campaigns and elections themselves. Panel under the title “Politics moves to web. How to win (cyber)elections?” was moderated by Eryk Mistewicz and participants included Igor Musinow from Strategic Communication Agency “Nikkolo M”, Jean-Paul Oury from JIN, Mark Pursey from BTP Advisers and Marjory van den Broeke from the European Parliament. Panelist discussed how Internet, and social media in particular change and make the communication process with voters easier. This panel as the first one during the Forum was broadcast live in TV and questions were asked also by Twitter’s users. Thanks to the fact that panelists came from different countries, examples of the communication through Internet were very varied, attention was paid also to threats coming from revealing one’s opinions on a public forum through Internet.
There were many other discussions on various topics with the participation of experts taking place during enormous number of panel discussions or press conferences, participants of the Forum could choose what to attend in line with their individual interests. Official part of the Forum was accompanied by cultural and social events, such as exhibitions, films screenings and concerts.
During the Forum President Bronisław Komorowski received the price for the Man of the Year 2011, awarded by the Programme Council of the Economic Forum in Krynica. President underlined that he feels special satisfaction receiving award at the Forum, where there are people knowing perfectly well that economy is the most important “chance for all of us”.
More information and multimedia available at the official website of the Economic Forum in Krynica: http://www.forum-ekonomiczne.pl/?lang=en