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    Poland’s Role in Strengthening the European Union: Highlights from the 16th European Economic Congress

    Explore highlights from the 16th European Economic Congress, showcasing Poland’s leadership in driving transformative change within the European Union.

    The 16th European Economic Congress (EEC) held in Katowice from May 7th to 9th marked a significant milestone in the economic discourse of the European Union. This year’s edition, boasting 17,000 attendees both in-person and online, 650 accredited journalists, 1200 speakers, and 180 substantive debates, stood as a testament to its exceptional scale and impact. Notably, the event coincided with Poland’s 20th anniversary of joining the European Union, framing discussions around the theme of transformation for the future. Political leaders, decision-makers, investors, and business representatives convened to deliberate on pivotal issues shaping Europe’s trajectory.

    Transforming Together: Poland’s Leadership in Europe

    The Congress commenced with grandeur, resonating with the jubilation of Poland’s EU membership and the dawn of a new era in Polish politics and economics. The presence of Ursula von der Leyen, the European People’s Party candidate for the President of the European Commission, and Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister, dignified the inauguration.

    — It’s a great honor to be here with you in a city that symbolizes so much of Poland’s history and future. This city symbolizes the transformative change of Poland and its people — remarked Ursula von der Leyen. — Twenty years ago, this great country, Poland, joined the European Union and made it stronger, more complete — she added. — The recent years have been challenging, but today Poland returns. It’s not just about returning to principles. Poland also returns as a leader in Europe, driving the economy and addressing various threats. I would like to congratulate Donald Tusk on his strong leadership — she stated.

    — It’s a deeply moving moment for all of us here in Katowice, in Silesia, in Poland, but also in Europe. We all speak with one voice. Never before have the main political forces and institutions in the EU been so unanimous on priorities, on what is most important, on what needs to be done in Europe, in every country, here and now, without hesitation — echoed Donald Tusk. — Poland is now a European leader on matters concerning the future of Europe, the future of all Europeans, from security to a common-sense approach to what European institutions are for, what procedures are, how to use European funds — he added.

    Charting the Course for Tomorrow’s Europe

    In Katowice, Ursula von der Leyen and Donald Tusk presented perspectives and plans for the Union amidst changing geopolitical dynamics. “Transform today, change tomorrow” — the Congress’s guiding motto — encapsulates the essence reiterated by panelists, emphasizing the pursuit of security on multiple fronts.

    Securing Europe’s Future: The Energy Transition

    A focal point of this year’s Congress was the energy transition. Kadri Simson, the EU Commissioner for Energy, kickstarted the substantive discussions, emphasizing the need for ambitious, long-term plans for renewable energy development beyond 2030. Within this discourse, the role of Poland in fostering stability and transitioning towards a low-carbon economy emerged prominently.

    Navigating the Digital Age: The Role of AI

    As the world rapidly embraces digital transformation, discussions delved into the implications of technological advancements, particularly artificial intelligence (AI). Experts underscored the importance of upskilling workers to harness AI’s potential while ensuring ethical and responsible deployment.

    Adapting to Changing Consumer Behavior

    Examining shifts in consumer behavior, discussions highlighted the evolving preferences and priorities of modern consumers. From sustainability concerns to the growing influence of AI in retail experiences, businesses are navigating a landscape shaped by diverse and dynamic consumer demands.

    Fostering Global Collaboration

    Representatives from various nations, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Rwanda, and Kazakhstan, converged at the Congress, underscoring the importance of global cooperation in addressing shared challenges and exploring economic opportunities.

    Poland’s Role in Ukraine’s Reconstruction

    Addressing the complexities of Poland’s role in Ukraine’s reconstruction, panelists acknowledged Poland’s unique position as a neighbor and advocate for Ukraine. However, they also highlighted the need for strategic collaboration and efficient border management to maximize the benefits of this relationship.

    The 16th European Economic Congress encapsulated the spirit of collaboration and innovation essential for navigating the complex challenges facing Europe. As Poland celebrates two decades of EU membership, its leadership and contributions to the Union’s resilience and growth remain pivotal in shaping a prosperous future for all Europeans.

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