5th European Congress of Local Governments in Krakow
A few months after the polish local government elections and only few months before the Polish and European Parliament elections, Krakow is going to host the most important politicians, local government officials, business representatives and local leaders.
The timing and the importance of the upcoming Congress will be quite significant – we expect the first summaries of how effective the recently elected polish local authorities have done so far. Furthermore, the format of this Central Europe’s biggest local governments meeting, enables for a discussion to be held in a much broader context – not only about the challenges faced by the local governments in Poland and Europe, but also about the areas where better cooperation is needed between local governments and entities such as central authorities, entrepreneurs, scientific units and non-governmental organizations.
The 5th European Congress of Local Governments will be attended by nearly 2,000 participants from almost 40 countries from around the world. A large group of over 100 journalists will report on more than 60 events that are currently on the Congress’s agenda. The awards gala is one of the most important points of the programme during which prizes will be awarded to the best local governments in the country. Last year, Kobierzyce became the best rural municipality and the title of the best rural-urban municipality went to the Dziwnow municipality. The award for the best county was given to the Pruszków county. Furthermore, the city of Gliwice has been named the best county-city, and the best city title was given to the city of Legionowo. A special award – the Golden Key of Wprost was awarded to the city of Nowa Sól.
The numerous discussion panels during the Congress will as usual be divided into thematic paths: Finance, Society, Innovation, Economy, Environment as well as Business and Local Government. Among many, Zdzis?aw Krasnod?bski, the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Davit Gabaidze, the President of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara (Georgia), Risto Poutiainen, the Governor of Northern Karelia (Finland), Gianfranco Miccichè, President of the Regional Assembly of Sicily, in 2005-2006 Minister for Development and Territorial Cohesion of Italy, Guillermo Ramirez Martin, Secretary General of the Association of European Border Regions, Germany as well as Eva Hallström holding the position of Regional Councillor of Värmland and a Chairwoman of the Committee on Energy and Climate of the Assembly of European Regions (Sweden) have all already confirmed their attendance in Cracow.
Last year, a lot of attention has been given to the issue of updating the legislation in order to expand the powers of local governments as well as to the need for re-arrange the relationship between the central and the local government. This year’s Congress will present a great opportunity to verify if any of this has so far been successful. Much related to this year’s motto “Local government – together for the future” we are expecting an in-depth discussion about the possible solutions to the issue of finding alternative sources of financing to allow for the further development of Polish regions in the context of the new EU financial perspective. Financing of the cross-border cooperation, cooperation between local governments and research/development centres as well as smart-solutions investments and the ways of integrating migrants will also be discussed this year in Cracow.
The participants of the Congress will also be encouraged to define what a “citizen friendly city” really is, how to develop tourism in the regions with a rich historical heritage, how to fight smog and how to successfully conduct “Silver Policy” (Senioral Policy) and promote preventive care in the face of increasing civilizational threats. These are just some of the issues that the Congress’ extensive agenda contains.
This is what the Mayor of Krakow – host city of the Congress, prof. Jacek Majchrowski said about the event: “The debates held during the European Congress of Local Governments do not focus on any abstract or academic issues. Instead they focus on topics that directly influence people such as city development, and the qualities making everyday city life better. The city of Krakow is the co-organiser of this event, because we believe we are leading the crowd in many of the discussed fields and therefore have knowledge that we may share but at the same time we are curious of what others have to say and offer.
The Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies which is responsible for the success of the Krynica Economic Forum is the organizer of the European Congress of Local Governments. Mr. Zygmunt Berdychowski, the President of the Programme Council of the Economic Forum, clearly defines the direction for the discussion about the future of local government: “Local governments must carry out more and more tasks and, as a direct consequence, receive more funding to cover for these actions. These funds should not be given out as grants, but instead must come from local governments own income. This will truly allow local governments to independently. ”
The event will take place from 8th -9th April, 2019 at the ICE Congress Centre in Cracow. All information regarding the 5th European Congress of Local Governments as well as a link to the registration is available at www.forum-ekonomiczne.pl