From May to September 2020 the European Economic Congress – the largest economic meeting of Central Europe – is held. This year, due to the coronavirus epidemic, some of its events are being held online.
On behalf of the Law Firm, the Congress on 18-20, 25 and 27 May 2020 was attended by representatives specialising in their daily practice in, among others, local government law: attorney Aleksandra Urbanowska-Bohun and attorney Aneta Fornalik. In the Law Firm they are responsible for providing services to Clients from the public finance sector, including, above all, local government units.
This year’s Congress was an opportunity to listen to the opinions of many experts wondering how the coronavirus epidemic will affect the functioning of various sectors of the economy, but also local governments, which play a significant role in economic development and were called by all the Congress panelists a key investor. These issues were discussed on 18-20 May 2020, with the participation of the Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship Jakub Chełstowski, the Mayor of Katowice Marcin Krupa, the Mayor of Łódź Hanna Zdanowska and representatives of the Association of Polish Cities, representatives of government administration including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Jadwiga Emilewicz and Minister of Funds and Regional Policy Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak, as well as representatives of the construction industry, which is crucial for the functioning of the local government at this time, in the form of Strabag S.A. board member Wojciech Trojanowski and Vice-President of the Management Board of Budimex S.A. Artur Popko. The role of the European Union in fighting the crisis after the pandemic was discussed by the former Prime Minister and the President of the European Parliament, and currently an MEP – Professor Jerzy Buzek.
27 May 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the first fully free elections after 1989, i.e. the municipal council elections. The Congress thus celebrated 30 years of local government in Poland, which provided an opportunity for many recollections, summaries and reflections. They were shared by the former Mayor of Ostrów Wielkopolski, and now Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Dera, Marshal of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship Olgierd Geblewicz, Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship Jakub Chełstowski and Secretary of State in the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy Waldemar Buda.
As part of the debates and panels held on that day, the prospects and problems facing the local government in view of the economic crisis, ways of getting out of it, as well as the investment opportunities of the local government in these changed circumstances, including the opportunities of PPP projects, were discussed, among others, by the Mayor of Ostrów Wielkopolski Beata Klimek, Mayor of Gdynia Wojciech Szczurek, starost of Żywiec Andrzej Kalata and treasurer of Gdańsk Izabela Kuś.
The discussions make us aware of the great role played by local government, which is one of the largest investors and whose investments significantly drive the economy. Conclusions from the discussion have shown the importance of the reform of local government finances and the possibility of compensating local governments for the losses incurred due to reduced income tax revenues, local taxes and other instruments that local governments have prepared for entrepreneurs as part of local anti-crisis shields. Thus, as usual, participation in the Congress is an opportunity to broaden the knowledge necessary to effectively serve our Clients.
We would like to thank all the participants for their extremely inspiring presentations.
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