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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 16, 2008
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European Medals
April 16, 2008 By Michal Jeziorski   
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The Business Centre Club (BCC), a leading Polish employers' organization, held its 16th European Medal ceremony at the Olympic Center of the Polish Olympic Committee (PKOl) in Warsaw April 8. Medals were awarded to 129 firms from all over Poland, Commercial Union, J.W. Construction, Link4, Lotos, Nordea and PKO BP among them.

The European Medal is a non-commercial nationwide undertaking aimed at supporting Polish products and services within the EU and promoting the EU among the business community. There is no rivalry involved and size is no obstacle to being a winner. The medal recognizes products and services that meet European standards. It may be considered a recommendation from the Office of the Committee for European Integration (UKIE), the BCC and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The European Medal has been awarded for eight years. The more than 2,000 winners to date have included leading Polish producers, banks, financial institutions, insurers, building sector leaders, IT firms and telecommunications companies as well as smaller local enterprises, higher education institutions and even media corporations.

The European Medal has been awarded every six months since the fall of 2000, there being a separate ceremony for products and services. All nominated products and services must meet standards required by law and be licensed or patented. The dynamics of nominated firms are taken into consideration as are their awards and certificates. The judges also assess the extent to which a firm avails itself of the opportunities presented by Poland's EU membership. This might include training courses, seminars on the European economy, legal consultations and analyses, and market research. Firms nominating winning services are given a diploma and a bronze medal.

Honorary European Medals are also presented to individuals outside the business community who promote the EU. Honorary medals this year went to Inga Czerny, Polish Press Agency (PAP) correspondent in Brussels, Jerzy Koźmiński, head of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, Janusz Reiter, a Polish diplomat and Poland's ambassador to the U.S. until 2007, and senator Edmund Wittbrodt.

The BCC was the only European entrepreneurial organization to be honored with the EESC award for promoting European integration and identity. The ceremony was held in the European parliament at the end of 2007. Specifically, the BCC was recognized for creating and organizing the European Medal, conducting public debates on EU issues and launching its ProEuro Campaign in September 2007 to promote Poland's entry into the euro zone.

The BCC was established in 1991. Today it is the largest individual employers' organization in Poland with more than 1,200 members, mostly private firms. These represent nearly 2,000 businesspeople and have a combined capital of more zl.200 billion and a work force of 600,000. BCC members number leading international corporations, financial and insurance institutions, telecommunications companies, leading Polish producers, higher education institutions, publishing houses and more than 200 foreign firms. The BCC mainly lobbies to develop the Polish economy, create new jobs and support private enterprise. Presidents, prime ministers and other ministers have all consulted BCC members. BCC members come from 249 cities. The BCC runs 24 regional chapters throughout Poland charged with resolving local problems and working together with local authorities. The BCC is an international organization that maintains contacts with EU institutions, the United States, Russia and Canada. Marek Goliszewski is chairman, and honorary members include Margaret Thatcher, Jacques Chirac, Helmut Kohl, George Bush, Bill Clinton and José Manuel Barroso.

For the complete list of European Medal
winners, go to www.bcc.org.pl
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