The 12th edition of the European Forum for New Ideas took place between 11th and 13th of October 2023 in Sopot.
Swift action is expected from the new parliament, government and President of Poland to repair our relations with the European Union, ensure compliance with EU treaties and court rulings, respect for democratic principles, the Constitution and rational political dialogue, EFNI participants wrote in the Sopot Declaration adopted at the end of the conference.
The event was attended by 1,400 people from more than a dozen countries, including prominent economists, business and academic leaders, and featured nearly 90 discussion panels. The main theme of this year’s conference was the political and economic future of Poland and Europe.
Speakers at EFNI’s closing ceremony included Henryka Bochniarz, chairwoman of the General Council of the Polish Confederation Lewiatan, Maciej Witucki, president of the Lewiatan, Magdalena Czarzyńska-Jachim, vice-president of the city of Sopot, and Markus Beyrer, director general of BusinessEurope.
Among the panelists of EFNI 2023 were: Roberta Metsola, Jan Zielonka, Jerzy Hausner, Katarzyna Kasia, Magdalena Środa, Tomasz Terlikowski, Sławomir Dudek, Jerzy Buzek, Henryka Bochniarz, Andrzej Rychard, Radosław Markowski, Mirosław Gronicki, Maciej Witucki, Przemysław Sadura, Sławomir Sierakowski, Dariusz Rosati, Witold Orłowski, Janusz Lewandowski, Paweł Potoroczyn, Natalia Hatalska, Ewa Ewart and Anja Rubik.
EFNI participants adopted the Sopot Declaration, in which they stressed that the key elections that happened on the following day will decide not only internal affairs, but also our future within the European Union. Among other things, it states that the European Union is needed by Poland as much as Poland is needed by the European Union. In a world of such rapid global change, we cannot be alone. Poland and the world need the EU that is resilient, independent, efficient, competitive and responsible. Engaged in climate, digital and demographic challenges, responding to poverty in Europe and beyond, the threats of war, migration challenges, etc. An effective and agile Union needs internal reforms, monitoring, and enforcement of adopted regulations. It’s better to do less, but in a more effective manner.
The European Union is not only a single market, but above all a community of values. The essence of the EU lies in it’s civil liberties, free courts, the rule of law, equality, respect for diversity, solidarity, concern for social and economic development, investment in the equality of opportunities, respect for regional self-government. In a word: democracy.
Poland should again become a role model for the European Union. Our country was admired and set as an example of transformation among the newcomers to the EU after 2004. Today, it has become an obstacle on the way towards the necessary reforms and an example of violations of EU law, intolerance, breaking of the independence of the judiciary system, oligarchic governance, politicization of the public media and offices and more. Let’s do everything to return to the ranks of pro-European countries. Let’s make good use of next year’s elections to the European Parliament and the time of Poland’s EU presidency, as it’s stated the Sopot Declaration.
Summaries, relations from the panel discussions and more can be found on efni.pl