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The Warsaw Voice » Business » August 29, 2012
EFNI 2012
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Leader or Follower? Europe in the Multipolar World Business Perspective
August 29, 2012   
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European Forum For New Ideas, Sopot, Sept. 26-28, 2012

Henryka Bochniarz, President of the Lewiatan Polish Confederation of Private Employers, Vice President of BUSINESSEUROPE:
In order to exit the crisis and compete with emerging economies, Europe needs to reinvent itself. The Old Continent has to rebalance its ambitions, competencies and capabilities. Europe needs to devise a new external relations strategy, but first and foremost, it needs to regain the trust and confidence of its citizens and restore its leadership. The business community should be active in all these processes and strongly accentuate its views and opinions. Therefore, at EFNI 2012, we will discuss the future of the European social model and the state’s role in the economy and civil society. We will explore the question of quotas and parities and examine prospective configurations of new financial governance. We will debate the energy revolution and its ability to save the world.

It is our intention to stimulate an inspiring dialogue on the crucial problems Europe is faced with as well as to open up the Polish business community to the world. Consequently, a different country will be invited as a special guest to every subsequent EFNI meeting. Turkey is EFNI 2012’s Special Guest.

Reinventing Europe
Europe needs to decide what role it wants to play in the new emerging global order. It has to redefine its interests and responsibilities, rebalance its aspirations and capabilities, as well as identify opportunities and threats.

Scenarios for Europe, focused on overcoming the crisis, will be developed at the European Forum For New Ideas during five plenary sessions, a dozen discussion panels, special debates, lectures, counterpoints and associated events.

Their topics will touch upon the most burning issues, such as the role of the government in the economy, the limits to the welfare state, new financial governance, the forecast impact of inflation, multiculturalism, demographic problems, goals of a modern education system, energy challenges, women’s influence on economic decision making and many others.

Turkey will be the Special Guest of EFNI 2012. The dynamic development which Turkey has consistently demonstrated over the past few years has proved impressive. Turkish Day during EFNI 2012 will feature a special plenary session, workshops and a Turkish artistic program.

The EFNI 2012 program will also include: The Lech Wałęsa Institute’s Civic Academy, Intel Business Challenge Europe, and Konkordia, the European cooperation forum of non-governmental organizations.

Eminent Guests and Panelists
Business leaders from Poland, Europe and other continents who are interested in the European and global background of economic and social development will be in attendance. Politicians and people from the world of arts and from academia are expected to attend the event. Representatives of business organizations, including federations that are members of BUSINESSEUROPE, will take part in EFNI debates.

The conference will host over 100 renowned speakers from around the world, including: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Davies, Bernard-Henri Lévy, George Friedman, Phillip Blond, Julia Friedrichs, Benjamin R. Barber, Claudia Zeisberger, Guy Sorman, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Paul Dembiński, Jerzy Buzek, Leszek Balcerowicz, Michał Boni, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, Adam Michnik, Danuta Hübner, Magdalena ¦roda, Jerzy Hausner and many others.

Recommendations for Europe
This year, conclusions and ideas voiced during the EFNI debates and discussions will again be presented in the form of recommendations to the authorities of the European Union, governments of member states, institutions and the media.

EFNI is organized by the Lewiatan Polish Confederation of Private Employers, in collaboration with BUSINESSEUROPE, the City of Sopot, as well as leading companies and institutions.

Views About EFNI
Jerzy Buzek, chairman of the EFNI Program Council:
“The challenges are obvious. Until now, they were discussed by governments concerned with or embarrassed by the current situation and people, citizens, who are desperate, rancorous and uncertain of the future. Now, the last tip of the triangle has been added—entrepreneurs, corporations, academics, people from the world of arts and civil society organizations. Within this triangle, we need to talk about the current distress and future of Europe.”

Andrzej Klesyk, President of the Board, PZU SA:
“Business people, just as much as politicians and social leaders, are responsible for the world which we will leave to future generations, our children and grandchildren. The European Forum for New Ideas is an ideal place for building dialogue between state leaders, intellectuals and the business community. Therefore, we will meet again in Sopot to reflect together how we can meet the challenges of the contemporary world and develop a vision for the future of Poland and Europe in the 21st century.”

Maciej Witucki, President of the Board, Orange Polska:
“No matter how many studies we carry out, we can never precisely predict the future. However, it is worth trying to analyze what may happen. Only those who are forward thinking will be prepared to achieve success. We need to set challenging goals and consistently work toward them. This year’s list of EFNI guests offers a chance to discover uncommon solutions and innovative ideas which give positive inspiration for action.”

Jacek Krawiec, President of the Board, PKN Orlen:
“Not only Europe but the whole world needs a new order. That is certain. The doubts are about the final shape that this new order should take and the right tools needed to bring it about. Is it necessary to redefine the rules which have governed the global economy since the end of World War II? Where are competitive advantages of Europe in the 21st century? EFNI brings together many powerful minds that are able to look further into the future than just the next few years, helping to find answers to these fundamental questions.”
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