Natalieâ€ŻAntkowiak Ewelinaâ€ŻChyliĹ„ska Mathewâ€ŻDavies Malteâ€ŻKoppe Yaroslavâ€ŻMelekh Mariyaâ€ŻRomanyshyn Gabrielaâ€ŻVirostkovĂĄ
Is the end of the EU a likely scenario?
No generation before had such opportunities
THE FORUM POST
Issue nr 2, September 2012
Is there a future for the young generation today in Europe?
Mathew Davies, UK
FEATURED In 2007 the housing crisis in the USA triggered the global financial crisis which later mutated into a sovereign debt crisis, general economic crisis â€“ and today a political crisis in Europe. Years of mushrooming derivatives packaged up and used as leverage called for the bail-out of the private sector by the public purse. This led to increased levels of public debt and considerably expanded deficits. This has to be paid back. However, austerity, cuts and minimal growth coupled with in-
creased unemployment and the rise of nationalism prompts the question â€“ is there a future for the young generation in Europe. This was the main theme of the Economic Forum of Young Leaders this year, and a question tackled by political heavy weights such as Lech WaĹ‚esa, Polish Hero, former leader of Solidarnosc and President of Poland. And the current Minister of Labour and Social Policy, WĹ‚adysĹ‚aw Kosiniak-Kamysz. According to Lech WaĹ‚esa there has never been a generation before that has had as many opportunities as ours.
BEINGâ€ŻAâ€ŻLEADER in modern society means not only being able to cope with changes, but also the ability to promote useful changes. It is necessary to be persistent and one must be ready to go an â€œextra mileâ€?. Continued on page 12
Democracy on retreat RUSSIA,â€ŻBELARUSâ€ŻANDâ€ŻUKRAINE together have a population of almost 200 million people. The 3 countries constitute considerable trading partners for all the EU states. Their importance in energy supply for the EU does not even need to be stressed just as the huge share of the energy sector in the economies of Russia (~ 20 %), Belarus (9 %) and Ukraine (7,5 %) illustrates. Continued on page 4
Watch the Forum online
Traditional Balkan concert has been performed at the closing banquet of the Economic Forum in Krynica
The whole media coverage during this year Forum was provided by Transmisje.org, which has immense experience in video streaming, online coverage and live transmission. They are offering a full media service including webbroadcasting of conferences, promotion of the event online (website, social media, Internet banners and ads, advertising on news portals, mailing, newsletter) and production of corporation films. Transmisje.org can work across Europe, thanks to media partners in different countries. Video of all debates and interviews with guest speakers of the 7th Economic Forum of Young Leaders is available to watch on
Photograph by Aleksander Wolak
Inside ÂƒÂƒ Forum is about networking page 3 ÂƒÂƒ Belarus should open itself up to the world page 4
ÂƒÂƒ A lost generation page 6 ÂƒÂƒ Challenging, productive and inspiring page 7 ÂƒÂƒ Be active in Europe page 14 ÂƒÂƒ Meet the Programme Council page 15
THE FORUM POST Message from the editor Thank you for reading the second edition of the Forum Post. Every year the Economic Forum of Young Leaders expands. And this year is no exception. At this years forum there are more participants than ever before. In a year when the battle of economic and political ideas continue to rage on. The proponents of flexible labour markets and competitiveness will argue one set of policy prescriptions, and those concerned with the social costs of precarious work and falling living standards will offer another. In short, priorities inevitably matter, and the forum hosts leaders with very different experiences and theoretical persuasions throughout Europe and beyond. One issue is clear.
Europe needs fewer charlatans and cowards and more heroes and markswomen targeting what really needs to be done. This is a worthy endeavor in order to save the greatest Mathew Davies peace project the world has ever known – the EU. The forum will host fresh faces with fresh ideas. Young people who are not afraid to observe the political and economic landscape, and speak out with warm hearts and cool heads. That is precisely what happened in previous years and indeed this year, when young leaders travelled to Southern Poland on September 3rd 2012. n
Forum 2012 in brief
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350 young leaders
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Is there a future for the young generation today in Europe? Lech Wałesa said that "the world belongs to you" but there are bad programmes and bad structures in place. He asserted that we need to take part in building a better structure, and for people to stand for elections. This is because he believes there is no other way. President Wałesa pointed out that young people need to organise more meetings like the one he was attending, and listen carefully to what the others have to say and to extrapolate, and use the best ideas to make a good programmes. When pressed on the idea that young people were lost, or thrown on the scrapheap he responded with a frank and down to earth reply which was truly characteristic. Walesa stipulated that he doesn’t believe that we ought to presume that others have to do something for us.
“You ought to realise that you have to do it for yourselves I underline, you have to do it for yourselves and for others’’. Lech Walęesa The lecture and question and answer section was enjoyed by everyone, and is available on the forums official website. Two days later, at the Economic Forum in Krynica, the Davos of the East, young leaders held a platform to discuss this topic. The panel was made up of Dr Francisco Martínez Rivas, Catholic Uni-
versity of San Antonio, Spain. Dariusz Suszynski, Rural Youth Association, Poland. Monika Zaharie, and University of Babes- Bolyai University, Romania, and Mat Davies, Programme Council of the Economic Forum of Young Leaders. And finally, Dominika Kita, Chairman of the Students Parliament in Poland. The Interview with Lech Walesa, guest speaker at the Forum. 4.09.2012 presentations delivered Photograph by Aleksander Wolak an insight into the gengrowth capacity from e-commerce and eral educational system across Europe e-procurement among other sectors. and the mis-match between academia This is believed to be a short term policy and the job market. This was highlight- necessity. However, he called for green ed by Monika Zaharie who delivered investment for the world our grandchila startling presentation which engaged dren will live in and progressive taxathe audience immediately. Dr Francisci tion in order to win back the trust of the Rivas later explained the complexities public once again. within his country in Spain. The spectre of youth unemployment Mat Davies, argued that the success haunts Europe. This year young leaders or failure of this generation depended had the chance to debate with the curon the reform of one sector, and offered rent leaders on matters which matter to three policy prescriptions. Firstly, he us all. With unemployment continuing said that the days of derivatives culmi- unabated, the economic forum will connating in 400 – 600 trillion compared tinue to function as a platform for disto 50 trillion in global economic output cussing this issue among any others. n are over – because people have woken up to the embedded unfairness of privatising the risks and socialising the losses of speculative markets. Within Europe his speech argued that we ought to follow the Monti Report, by complet- Main Partner of the EF of Young Leaders ing the single market and therefore the
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The Forum is about networking and debate Interview with Michał Wójcik
THE SEVENTH FORUM involved a record for the number of participants. This is mainly because the Forum has become a recognizable name and the most important event of this type for young people from Europe. When we first started in February 2006 we had to distribute the relevant information across to many institutions and explain what the Forum was all about. Today there are many other people who enquire about us. There are no longer problems with recruiting and signing up participants with more than 1000 various institutions from Europe. Interestingly, institutions not only from Europe are interested in, and come over to us. Moreover, we have moved towards partnership cooperation with new entities from Poland for almost 3 years now. This makes us stronger and offers good opportunities and perspectives for the future. What is the purpose of this meeting? We said almost seven years ago that we wanted to make a young people’s Davos. Therefore we would like Nowy Sacz to become a meeting place for leaders who have something interesting to share with others, and at the same time, are open to meeting other people and share their experience, which may lead to the creation of new contacts for their social and business projects. Networking and high quality debates are the two phrases that could describe our Forum in the best possible way. The Forum is a kind of meeting place of more than 350 leaders from 42 countries. Since the beginning we assumed that leaders from the Eastern and Western Europe would meet there. Moreover, we tend to discuss important subjects and this discussion is carried out with leaders of our contemporary times. What subjects are covered during this year’s Forum? The main subject of the Forum relates to the outlook for our generation. And here the major question arises, are we really a lost generation or are we rather a generation of great opportunities? On the one hand the whole of Europe is open for us. Of course, we are now talking about the EU members which are still an accessible place for many people. We, thus, have an opportunity to study, live
What I like most is that we are now using all the potential of the Foundation (European Meeting Centre - Nowy Staw Foundation) to organise the Forum, which, in fact, is huge. We have a lot of experience of organizing such events. Let’s take, for example, media arrangement. Every year, we are trying to make it be the best. We have engaged a now work with a company closely cooperating with us. That is Transmisje.org, which has immense experience in this field and is providing the majority of media services to us. This is a good job for a just cause. The Economic Forum of Young Leaders has A handy become a recognizable name and the most group of important event of this type for young peo- v o l u n t e e r s , cooperating ple from Europe parties and Michałłl Wojcik, people who Programme Director of the Economic Forum put a lot of time of Young Leaders their and effort whilst enjoycial stability. ing themselves at the same time, are inBut returning back to this studying. volved in the work for the Forum. They, Does it matter that we can choose any quite correctly, think of the Forum as university in any other EU member their event. We really do have a great country if only British ones come up to team of people and we are open to new the rank of the first thirty best universi- ones joining in. For many years, we have ties worldwide? These are tough ques- been enjoying hospitality of the city of tions we need to tackle. Nowy Sacz and, generally speaking, the So is this that bad or is this only Małopolska region, which makes the a kind of fake pessimism? atmosphere inviting and makes people It seems to me that many issues which feel at home. are simple have not been solved yet, and What are you plans for the future? that courageous ideas have been missWe have already started a scholarship ing for years now. These ideas would be program. We are addressing our offer to a breakthrough in addressing this apa- companies which would like to found thy. Someone wrote that it has been five a membership scholarship in the next years since the crisis began. Isn’t it too year’s edition of the Forum for one perlong? Aren’t we able, having such tools son, a young leader from any country. as no one had before, to get through this Such a person would have an opportuand cope with it much quicker? Maybe nity to participate in our event. Moreowe do not have politicians who are good ver, he/she would be able to do their enough? Again, these are important internship in the company that funded questions we must ask. this scholarship. We are thinking parBut don’t you just talk? ticularly about leaders of NGOs from No, we meet with the best of the best. Eastern European countries, which, People who have experience, leadership naturally, have fewer chances to parcapabilities and the charisma to deliver ticipate in such events as the Forum. and incite development with young Similar to the eighties, thousands of people in Nowy Sacz. Once, Jose Maria Poles used to go for foreign scholarship Aznar told us that that if he had another funded by companies, private sponsors, chance of becoming the Prime Minister and right now, today, it is worth adof Spain, he would do exactly the same dressing a similar offer to our Eastern as he did when was in the government. neighbours. We have been working and It was such an instructive statement. focusing on this and, I guess, next year, What is this that you liked during this we will be able to invite more people to year’s Forum? attend our Forum. n and work in a different country. Indeed, we have practically, unlimited access to educational programs. Furthermore, due to new technologies we have totally new communication mechanisms and work tools provided for improving formal and informal networks. On the other hand, however, there are so many unsolved issues. Almost half of the Spaniards at the age of 30 are unemployed. There is no stable employment. Many people work on the so called junk contracts which do not provide finan-
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Democracy in Eastern Europe in retreat. Who can initiate positive change? Malte Koppe, Germany
EASTERNâ€ŻEUROPE Russia, Ukraine and Belarus together have aÂ population of almost 200 million people. The three countries constitute considerable trading partners for all the EU countries. Their importance in energy supply for the European Union does not even need to be stressed just as the huge share of the energy sector in the economies of Russia (~ 20 %), Belarus (9 %) and Ukraine (7,5 %) illustrates.
mocracy rating has been shown to have weakened. Moreover, Russiaâ€™s position did not improve. The economic crisis struck Belarussian state-sponsored economics especially hard. Minsk chose to sell parts of its key industries to Moscow for Russian credits. Observers didnâ€™t expect the October 2012 parliamentary elections to change the countries political sphere considerably. Ukraine saw further confirmation of authoritarian tendencies with the mistreatment of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko. This subject is, however, only the tip of the ice-berg. The upcoming parliamentary elections (October 2012) are already heating up the political climate in the country. Will they be free and fair? In Russia, the castling of now-president Vladimir Putin with his successor in the office, Dmitry Medvedev, seems to cement the authoritarian rule of the country. One has to acknowledge, however, that this unique move
Their geographical position and strong cultural ties with the West of Europe make the three countries potential partners for the EU in the global rat race for influence and economical advantage. Economic cooperation for the benefit of all parts of society clearly works best under market economy conditions. But the market needs democratic institutions and the rule of law in order to blosCountry Population som.2012 is aÂ crucial year for the development of democracy in Russia 141,9 million all three above mentioned countries. The Ukraine 45,9 million performance of Belarus and Ukraine in the Belarus 9,5 million renowned analysis of * according to Freedom House, Freedom House, de- **GDP growth in 2011 (Belarus: 2010)
2012 is aÂ crucial year for the development of democracy in all three above mentioned countries. Malte Koppe Shevtsova of Carnegie Moscow states, todayâ€™s Russia might transform quicker than the world is prepared for. While sociologist declare the rise of the Russian middle class, the authorities answered social discontent in the last few months with aÂ wave of oppression: culminating in the â€œPussy Riotâ€? case.
Political system and rating
Consolidated Authoritarian Regime (6,18)
Transitional Government or Hybrid Regime (4,82) 4,7% Consolidated Authoritarian Regime (6,68)
Belarus should open itself up to the world How can one improve the economic situation in Belarus? Belarus should introduce aÂ coherent legal system, and open itself up to the world. This is not possible without serious political reforms. This means the establishment of government based on the rule of law and the division of power. For example, It is important to reform the huge state-owned enterprises. Right now, they rely exclusively on Russia (either on Russian natural supplies or on the Russian market). IÂ stressed this huge problem in my campaign program. What can we expect from the parliamentary elections in autumn?
was accompanied by unusually harsh protests throughout Russian society. It will be of key importance for all the discussed countries here, if the Russian opposition, presently intimidated and oppressed by the regime, can be strong enough to channel the protests into real change. If it is true what Lidia
AleĹ› MichaleviÄ?, opposition leader in Belarus. Participant of the Forum in 2011. Photograph by Wikipedia.org
Unfortunately, we canâ€™t expect anything from them. This is because the representatives of the opposition have not been accepted onto the local election committees. As Josef Stalin said â€œIt does not matter how the people vote,
all that matters is who counts the ballots.â€? AÂ lot of popular politicians have been convicted by courts, and actually imprisoned. Therefore, they did not have the right to campaign. Alaksandar MilinkieviÄ?, for example, has not been registered. How can one highlight the Belarusian issue at the international level? There is no easy way to make the Belarusian case matter in times of economic crises. We have to prepare for aÂ long process; we need to utilise all the contacts we have. The neighbour countries Poland, Latvia and Lithuania will play an important role, but Germany as well. This is because it is the closest country in the so called old EUâ€?. n
Democracy in Eastern Europe in retreat - panel discussion, 5.09.2012. Moderator: Malte Koppe - junior officer at the German - Polish Youth Office. Panelists: from the left side, Mats Bergquist (Swedish Institute of International Affairs), Igor Chubays (Institute of Worldâ€™s Civilizations, Russia), JĂłzef Oleksy (former Speaker of the Sejm and Prime Minister of Poland), Sergey Markov (Vice-Rector, Plekhanov Russian Economic University), Asim Mollazade (Chairman of the Democratic Reforms Party, Azerbaijan) Photograph by Aleksander Wolak
The European Union and its member states - each of them with its own policies - tries to influence the democratic development and market economy tendencies in all three former Soviet countries. Official relations with Russia are still based on the â€œPartnership and Cooperation Agreementâ€? terminated in 2007. The already negotiated Association Agreement with Ukraine has not been ratified by the member states due to the Timoshenko case. In the case of Belarus, the EU faces aÂ true deadlock. The countries is officially participating
in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), part of the Eastern Partnership, but practical progress towards democracy and human rights is scarce on all levels. The Union is still implementing sanctions against numerous representatives of the official Belarusian apparatus. Lukashenko recently answered the EU with restrictions against the diplomatic representations by Poland and Sweden. Bilateral relations of all the member states towards Russia, Ukraine and Belarus differ aÂ lot depending on the
given country. Broadly speaking, they oscillate from aÂ lower level of engagement (Southern European countries) through tangible economic interests (Germany) to severe security and stability considerations (Poland, Baltic countries). Given the premise that collective and individual well-being and sustainable economic growth is best possible in aÂ democratic environment, there seem to be little alternative for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. They must undertake reforms towards more open societies in the long run. n
European Meeting Centre - Nowy Staw Foundation
Foundation for the Development of the Education System
Economic Forum in Krynica
We work for the benefit of civil society and solidarity between nations. Through education of all generations we enforce the idea of democracy, selfgovernance, social market economy and cultural understanding.
The Foundationâ€™s main aim is support for activities serving the development of education in Poland. The FRSE realises its aim through the coordination of educational programmes of the European Union, among others.
Economic Forum in Krynica is a significant event in Central and Eastern Europe. Its mission is to create a favorable climate for the development of political and economic cooperation between the European Union and neighboring countries. Held annually since 1991.
THE FORUM POST A lost generation? Ewelina Chylińska, Poland
ANALYSIS The Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary System warns that if an appropriate effort is not made by young people, the living standards of this, and future decades will be lost. Concerns are being expressed across Europe. Mario Monti, the Prime Minister of Italy admits that he is doing his best to prevent the next generation from thrown on the scrapheap and Luca Volonté, has offered the depressing title of “Young Generation Sacrificed” in his report for the Council of Europe “Lost generation”. Some journalists and politicians are proclaiming and repeating the words provided by experts. However, are their concerns accurate? Indeed, alarming data continuously appears in reports from institutions such as the International Labour Organisation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the European Commission. Let us look at the latest statistics provided by Eurostat. In
May 2012 more than 5.5 million young people (under the age of 25) in the European Union were unemployed and more than 3.4 million of them lived in the Eurozone. The youth unemployment rate was 22.7% in the EU and 22.6% in the Eurozone and importantly, it is the highest rate since 1983, the year that the statistics were first collated and published. However, the situation differs in individual countries. The worst situation can be observed in Spain where 52.1% of young people have no job and in Greece where the figure recently hit 52.8%. Slovakia currently stands at 38.8 %, Portugal – 36.4 %, and in Italy – 36.2%. This is incomparably better in Germany where some pupils start their traineeship as early as 15 years of age, and only 7.9% of young people cannot find a job. Similar trends exist in Austria - 8.3 % and the Netherlands – 9.2 %. The average for the UE is 22.7% whereas the rate in Poland is 24.9 %. Therefore one can see a considerable divergence in the labour market throughout states. The main reason behind the constantly deteriorating status of people between the ages of 15-24 is the financial crisis which started in 2008. Until that time the situation was improving yearly
6 in many countries. Branislav Stanicek, an administrator at Committee of the Regions sees the slump in production with the simultaneous rise in labour costs in the period of 2000 to 2010 which we witnessed in Greece and Italy as one of the reasons behind such the situation we find ourselves in today. This is because at the same time, labour costs in Germany went down. Young people are now employed on short-term contracts, and they have little experience or professional contacts and that’s why employers often dismiss them. Even though the unemployment rate has always been higher in young people in Spain this age group have no job compared to other age groups, the annual rise in this rate, which is additionally influenced by poor educational systems, is not adjusted to labour market needs, and has become one of the major political issues. Furthermore, the IMF has also made recommendations regarding the improvement of the situation. This includes reducing barriers for competitiveness, preventing labour market segmentation, tax reforms which will fa-
Generation Lost or unlimited possibilities? Outlooks for the young people in times of economic crisis - panel discussion of young leaders in Krynica. 6.09.2012. Panelists: from the left side, Dariusz Suszyński (Rural Youth Association), Anna Moskwa (Quality & Development Institute), Mathew Davies (Programme Council), Dr Francisco Martínez Rivas (Catholic University of San Antonio), Dominika Kita (Chairman of the Students Parliament in Poland). Other panelist, not in picture: Monika Zaharie (University of Babes- Bolyai University, Romania). Photograph by Aleksander Wolak
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cilitate growth, offer real support for students’ mobiland increas- ity. However, above all, those affected ing funds for or those who in couple of years’ time young people in the EU improving the will likely find themselves in the same were unemployed (May quality of edu- situation as Slovakians or Spaniards cation and re- must be strong and down to earth, and 2012) search. There- therefore try to make sensible decisions fore, reform about their future career resulting from not only aimed at the improvement of the actual situation in the market and, public expenditure but also general eco- if necessary, use all the possibilities nomic growth. This appears to be Chris- and opportunities offered by the impletine Legarde’s solumentation of the tion in supporting Young people are now employed on Bologna Process. the young generation short-term contracts, and they have Looking for funds effectively. when starting up little experience or professional con- one’s own busiRectifying this situation does not only tacts and that’s why employers often ness, and the reladepend on the deci- dismiss them. tive mobility in sions made by govEuropean dimenernments, however. sion, which is unThere is a need for cooperation between attainable without knowing languages. entrepreneurs and universities, where- One requires the flexibility of the labour by the funds for Young entrepreneurs market, which can at the same time be
a remedy in creating current problems. We must make sure that pessimistic reports are proven false, and facilitate the energy of those who can find their way, despite difficult conditions. n Forum’s Partner
Challenging, productive, inspiring Gabriela Virostková, Slovakia
OPINION Are the discussions between young leaders during the crisis necessary? Does education play an important role in the society? Can young people come up with solutions for a better future? The Economic Forum of Young Leaders as such was a clear answer for all the above mentioned questions. We all agreed that the only way how to overcome the current condition of crisis is to invest in the new generation. What kind of investment did we mean? We talked about education, which should be more about quality than quantity. An education which should motivate young people to contribute to society as much as possible, and about the education which becomes the driving force of our society. Young Europeans are full of ideas which can change the EU, and transform it into the better place to live. The Forum represents an ideal place for sharing new ideas and finding solutions applicable in every corner of Europe. By expressing own points of view, young leaders were confronted with different opinions which required preparation and courage. By putting ourselves into these situations, we are on our way to becoming great leaders. Why?
Participants of the Forum disscussing during the workshops. Photograph by Aleksander Wolak
Because we learned how to face challenges, and how to overcome intercultural differences and moreover, how to improve our skills every single day. We managed to respect each other and created an international team with ´out of box thinking´ which clearly express the main idea of this Forum. The Forum in Nowy Sacz wasn’t only about leaders. I think we motivated each other to become great followers as well. That means that we helped each other to find a place in the team
where one can be the most productive. We clearly understood what the word team is to mean: Together Everybody Achieves More. Last but not least, the Forum reminded all participants of the importance of all three factors which are decisive in sustainable development. It is our responsibility to avoid the mistakes which caused the current crisis. To sum it up I would describe the Forum in following three words: challenging, productive and inspiring.
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Forum Spotlights Photograph by Aleksander Wolak
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Gathering storm: Is the end of the European Union a likely scenario? Mathew Davies, United Kingdom
EUROPE Some of you may recognise the title of this article. For it is a reference to work published by Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Great Britain. He argued that a gathering storm was on the horizon - prior to World War 2. Britain was at that time pursuing the degrading, and irresponsible policy of effectively ignoring the problems on the European continant. At that time the USA was inflicting cuts during a recession, thereby worsening the great depression. Churchill was quite right to warn of troubled times ahead. Today we must awake from our inertia, the young people of Europe must have the courage to face the political divisiveness and hostility of our time, or risk repeating the failures of history again. Ironically, one of the most famous Churchillian quote is often used to dismiss and dissuade progressive poliies. It is “Democracy is the worst system except all others”. The architects of the sound bite and cheap political oratory fail to add the next part… “which have been tried”. Since then that quotation has been applied to free market economics and other ideologically based theories. This is quite wrong. In this article I will focus on the UK. Nevetheless, the same argument is more or less applied across Europe in one form or another. Therefore, the battle of ideas must awaken from its slumber. If it does not, then yes, the end of the European Union will no longer be a question of if, but when. Let us be clear on this, there is no time to loose. Some irresponsible political parties and socially misguided groups across Europe are tending the fields of innate nationalism whilst mainstream parties generally offer the same “private sector good, public sector bad mantra”. In defiance of the divisive and barbaric hyperbole noticeable in the spurious screams from Marine Le Pen and others of a hard right persuasion. Those with
the passion to engage in constructive politics and economic discussion ought to pursue, in dissent, alternatives to the status quo. Idealism and pragmatism is required in equal measure. Doing so may offer much needed emancipatory philosophy, politics and economic policies. The cost of failing to do so is too expensive. The British writer George Orwell once wrote that “all that was required of them (the public) was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever necessary”. Let us appeal to reason instead. At the Economic Forum of Young Leaders, we can set an example and lead the way to a better, brighter, fairer and prosperous future. In my opinion, to do this, we must acknowledge the social costs of austerity unleashed across our beautiful continent. The economist Karl Polanyi once warned against self-interest and ideology masquerading as good public policy
What we need are strengths which we can only find together…we must have the full benefit of the single market’ Margaret Thatcher, 1986
and science. Unfortunately, cutting welfare and halting investment during a recession is confirmation of the continued hegemony of self-interest and ideology. Whilst reforms to the banking system are complex, process of money creation masked, the “private sector good, public sector bad mantra” soldiers on. An argument severely under researched and weakly, albeit loudly, articulated. However, my job here is to tackle two points. The notion that this policy of depression economics is science, and furthermore the bizarre assertions mushrooming from the very ideology underlying it. First of all then, let’s address the supposed science of it all. One MP I recently met in the UK pointed out that he was a believer in Austrian economics and argued that because the public debt is high and the deficit too wide, closure is essential. Furthermore, higher taxes are supposeldly not popular (for who?) therefore cuts are prioritized. Further-
more, taxing the rich is not necessary because…”The 1% rich pay a lot of taxes totaling 24%”. Perhaps, however this can be easily deconstructed. In the UK, the top 1% has more aggregate wealth than the whole bottom half of the population put together, and inequality has grown fivefold since 2006. So what is wrong with that? Well, apart from the immorality of inequality and the violence of poverty, there are the technical shortcomings of the above argument. Firstly, regardless of your country, do some research, and consider the level of public debt your state is in, in terms of history, particular compared with the end of WW2. The level of debt in the UK in 2010 was around 70% of GDP totaling 760 billion pounds. This can be compared with the financial situation at the end of WW2 when public debt stood at 250% of GDP. After the war we built a Welfare State, invested in social housing and a national health service free at the point of delivery. We put people back to work and received returns for our investment. In 2010 the UK coalition government’s policy began implementing the opposite; it cut spending and imposed reckless cuts. Regardless, over two years later the public debt is now well over a trillion pounds, and the economic policy which aimed to address the deficit has failed to achieve its original target. Additionally, unemployment and precarious work has considerable increased and certainly intensified. This is coupled with violent social outbreaks, such as the UK riots in August 2011. Nevertheless, the answer by many right wing economists is to cut the public sector further, deeper and faster. This is often married to the laborious
Saying class does not matter in Britain is like saying wine doesn’t matter in France Nick Cohen, The Observer argument (so often) for further flexible labour markets and the reduction of the supposed abhorrent bloated state. This illustrates the ideological roots to the austerity policy which inevitably leads
some commentators to argue that this is a class project – socialising the risks and privatising the gains of the failure in the private sector – and then reducing the size of the welfare state in response.
There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning Warren Buffet There is hope on the horizon and within socially responsible ideas and solutions promulgated by some political economists. The Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman saliently articulates the demand conundrum we are currently locked within. The lack of sales constitutes the very real problem with growth because public and private confidence is low, and therefore, lending, business start ups and spending is affected. This is a good old fashioned liquidity trap. Now, like a family, if my spending is your income; and your spending is his or her income, and we all save at the same time, we all lose, and nobody makes capital. Remember, compound growth in economies is required in order to create real jobs, which are permanent and not temportary or part-time. Nevertheless, the point I made on the panel in Krynica which aimed to address the issues pertaining ot the future of the young generation is relevant here. The austerians continue to point to the public sector as the cause of the problem, and consequently the situation we are in. This is clearly spurious, vacuous and badly researched nonsense leading to weak oration, albeit one continuously argued on a day-to-day basis. As pointed out by the political economist Alex Nunn, public spending in the UK is lower as a proportion of the economy than in the likes of France, Italy, Austria and Belgium, as well as the Scandinavian countries. Yet the argument for a smaller state rages on. Finally, we must remind ourselves how the sovereign debt crisis actually emerged. It happened over many years through the deregulation of the financial markets allowing the rise of unsafe derivatives to
bloom, and set off by the trigger held tackle, and pay the price – in terms of by the housing bubble in the United political and economic successes or failStates. Now the public sector through- ures. The Greek crisis and the nationalout the EU is paying the price for the pri- ism movement have been put under the vate sectors irresponsibility. Yet, there microscope by the media. Politicians inare alternatives to this savagery being evitably have to respond to that media, wrecklessly inflicted upon the majority and the damage control operations prein EU nations. sented by the 24 hours sound bite culThe work conducted by Mario Monti, ture matter. However, they must never Prime Minister of Italy, and the particu- lose sight of the need to liberalize the lar policy prescriptions in his report, internal market for short term reasons is a good place to start. The liberaliza- and invest in a green sustainable section of the internal market is absolutely tor for our children, and grandchildren. essential to competitiveness and co- Unfortunately, trust in politicians has operation, and therefore growth and been severely damaged and will need to bargaining powers be rebuilt by all for unions. There Yet, we must be clear; there is no time mainstream paris the capacity for to waste, and it is only by working to- ties. It does not everyone to make gether that we can develop a vision help when taxes gains. Opportunifor the wealthities for startup busi- and strategy worthy of Europe est in Britain are nesses are immeMathew Davies reduced whilst diate in the digital welfare for the market and fields of disabled has e-commerce and e-procurement. With been cut, and the health service in Engcareful planning and coordination, land continues to be privatized. This is states can liberalize key areas leading not acceptable, and people, sooner or to business capacities for small and later will retaliate. If taxes went up in medium enterprises, and in key health the UK to 50% for people earning over areas such as dentistry. Moving in this 100 thousand pounds 4.7 billion could direction would not only empower the be raised each year. This kind of policy, direction of industrial policies, and similar to those now being attempted fairer bargaining channels through the in France, coupled with closing down European Trades Union Congress, but tax loopholes and avoidance (totaling it would also justify investment into 80 billion in the UK a couple of years an integrated European wide transport ago, and speculatively much more) and system. However, liberalization alone offshore capital storage. The leading is too short sighted and cannot address politicians could send a genuine signal the long term requirements needed to that a fairer system, and the possibility create a formidable, reliable and capa- of a real redistributive economic policy, ble European economy which can lead was being implemented on behalf of the the way in the world. We ought to re- commons. turn to the environmental movement With the German elections in 2013, which gained significant support until and the European Parliamentary elec2007. Investment opportunities were tions in 2014 – the future is full of under development in sectors which threats and opportunities. At the Forum could have fostered a greener future. we will debate the issues pertaining to Let us be clear, that vision and direction institutional reform, the pooling of sovis not only desirable ethically, but also ereignty, and the democratic deficit. economically. Whether one believes in Yet, we must be clear; there is no time the science of climate change or not, the to waste, and it is only by working toincrease in global population and rise in gether that we can develop a vision and resource demand must be tackled. strategy worthy of Europe. n The EU should, and could, lead the way. This period between 2012 -2020 will nevertheless be a test of political courage which our generation will
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Exploring Leadership: the nature of successful leader Mariya Romanyshyn, Ukraine
LEADERSHIP This year the Economic Forum of Young Leaders addressed the vast variety of issues beginning with the perspectives of the young generation in Europe (especially taking into account the current crisis), however, also democratic challenges facing Eastern Europe. On a more practical level the forum addressed youth unemployment, startup opportunities for business, and how to find a reasonable balance between saving and spending in the attempt to identify the way out of the crisis. In the course of Forum, a discussion on the topic of leadership was also a subject of wide interest as well. The topic about leadership is mainly covered and discussed in the context of businesses because obviously organizational activity and entrepreneurship is the best way possible one can demonstrate, and illustrate, the strong correlation between a good leader and more practically, market share, the level of profits, stock price and/or the competitive advantage of a company. According to the Global Leadership Forecast in 2011, organizations with the highest
quality of leaders were 13 times more responded that it was the broad expelikely to outperform their competitores rience and professional competences, in key bottom-line metrics such as fi- resilience and personal achievement nancial performance. Although accord- characteristics that made him or her ing to the 2011 Business Strategy Review leaders in the long term. Moreover, the in 2009, US companies spent $ 12 billion guests shared personal experiences on leadership development, and more- about the turning points in their lives, over 60% of companies face leadership such as when they realized that they talent shortages which impede perfor- had become leaders. mance. Consequently the identification Afterwards we talked about the role and attraction and therefore the devel- of knowledge, expertise and educaopment of leadership talent can be con- tion. I wondered if it is a must for considered as a key goal for business suc- temporary leaders to be experts in his/ cess. her field or to have I had the chance Being a leader in modern society a general disposito talk about the means not only being able to cope with tion towards being main characteris- changes, but also the ability to promote a good manager or tics and traits of qualified organizer, useful changes. a good leader in and whether that modern society and Mariya Romanyshyn was enough. The what distinguishes panelists tended to leaders from those prioritize the latter, who are not with my panel guests: Grze- and the conversation continued, and gorz Schetyna (Chairman of the Foreign turned towards the differences which Affairs Committee, Poland), and Denis the role of education played and its path MacShane (Member of Parliament, UK) towards leadership, both in developed and finally Luis Fraga (President of and developing countries. World Stability Observatory, Spain). Ultimately, leadership is seen as the The conversation started with a ques- process of a social influence. It stands tion which asked whether there is for making team members efficient in any such a thing as a “born leader” or the process of accomplishing a common whether leadership is a learnt skill. Al- task. Since the market is cruel, competimost unanimously, the panel speakers tion is tough; the environment is inevi-
How to be a good leader in contemporary businesses and society? - panel discussion. 5.09.2012. Moderator: Maria Romanyshyn (teaching assistant at Lviv Polytechnic National University). Panelists: Grzegorz Schetyna (Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Parliament of Poland), Luis Fraga (President of the World Stability Observatory, Spain), Denis MacShane (Member of Parliament, House of Commons, UK). Photograph by Aleksander Wolak
tably challenging and dynamic. Motivation is a crucial issue. In that context the conversation turned to the subject of how to motivate teams, and where leaders should harvest sources of value in order to be constantly inspired. The conclusion I have made after a very inspiring discussion is the following. Being a leader in modern society means not only being able to cope with changes, but also the ability to promote
useful changes. And to see the hidden opportunities in every setback and challenge and to go beneath and beyond those opportunities; it is necessary to be persistent and one must be ready to go an “extra mile”; Furthermore, he/she must be able and confident to take risks. More generally, leadership refers to constant achievement orientation, emotional maturity, flexibility and adaptability, rationality and a clear
strategic view, embodied in integrity and communicational openness, crossfunctional and cross-cultural process skills, social responsibility, dominance and charisma. And in spite of the fact that there is still no universal formula for becoming a good leader in the contemporary world, a strong will is, I believe, the key ingredient. n
Voices of Europe
means a community of well-being as well as a platform for discussing urgent problems of humanity. We need to save the spirit of democracy and unity - united we are stronger. Therefore we must lead a campaign towards more awareness for the impact of European integration on our personal lives - it can’t happen only on paper. But also in terms of transparency, therefore, we ought to favor a pragmatic approach - just like Youth in Action, and ERASMUS. People can learn how to deal with problems - it is like introducing a pill for a sickness’’. Shalva Uriadmkopeli is from Georgia and is based at the Ministry of Economy
Natalie Antkowiak is from Dresden in Germany and studies at the European University in Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder). She spoke with participants throughout the forum to find out their points of view.
Natalie Antkowiak, Germany
OPINIONS We, the youth of Europe, have listened to a lot of contributions and sometimes very heated debates. We asked a lot of questions. But what do the participants actually think about these issues? We asked three charismatic young leaders the following questions. What does the EU mean to you? Under what kind of environment do you feel like a European? -What is most important for the future considering that we want to safeguard peace and prosperity? And finally, what is your contribution or recommendation for the future? Maciej Boryn is from Poland and is based at the Research Institute of Social Science and Economy at Gdansk University: ‘’I feel I´m a European at moments like these. When I can meet people from all over the world and when we can talk about the same ideas. Then I can see that all of us have the same problems and everyone can find a solution together. The best way to save our future is to organize events like this … We are young people who don´t remember the past, for example the world wars. We should spend more time talking about the crisis of money and the real problem, the economy. I have some advice for European economists, let´s think about all the mechanisms of the economy. We should unite Western and Eastern economies. Like Lech Walesa said in the panel discussion on the perspectives on young people, we have to look at Europe from above’’ Nataliia Sad is from Ukraine and based at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation: She said that ‘’the EU
tantly for our future will be the peaceful relationships between the countries. Common and more interesting projects will make peoples´ lives easier. First of all economic and territorial stability is most important nowadays and also of course a generally more secure world.
Participants of the 7th Economic Forum of Young Leaders Photograph by Aleksander Wolak
and Sustainable Development in Tbilisi, He told me that ‘’it is known historically that my country was and will stay as a divider between Asia and Europe. Mentally it’s always European. Georgia, post Soviet Union chose the EU direction. For my country and for me especially it means open economic borders between states, and more safety and life security. I Hope Georgia will become a member of it. However, most impor-
Georgia knows what it means to live and to think about safety in the XXI century. Indeed, the Globalization period is continuing. The informational sphere is becoming more and more common and of course there are the same problems for all countries such as Cyber, nuclear and ecological security. It would be better if countries would care about common problems and not about themselves’’. n
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Meet the Programme Council
Be active in Europe! Together we are powerful! Yaroslav Melekh, Ukraine
POINT OF VIEW It was the first time that I have participated in the event. I decided to attend because I am dedicated to meeting other young people from all-over Europe. This of course includes students from Portugal to Russia and from Italy to Sweden. The Economic Forum of Young Leaders was, however, not just a meeting of youngsters. But in realistic terms, the young leaders of Europe who are successful in business, politics, other forms of public activity or even science. Therefore, it was important that the geography, and therefore scope of the Forum was not limited to countries within the EU and countries such as Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, the Balkan countries and the Caucasus region, leading to a pan-European framework. Indeed, that is the ideal way to integrate different parts of Europe, and the way to erase stereotypes and prevent misunderstandings between countries in the future. It is hard to overestimate the total value of the Forum because it depends on the personal contribution of each participant. Active participation is necessary, which means questioning the Forum’s guests and non-formal communication and in addition to understanding of the Forum’s issues. Those were the key factors contributing to the success of this wonderful event. Moreover, the Forum was also a good place for creating new international projects, start-ups and, obviously, the sharing experiences and vital knowledge. To my mind, the motto of the Forum’s idea is ‘Together we are power!’ is important. That is what I mean by synergistic effect which means acting together. By doing this we can overcome
Yaroslav Melekh is a 20 years old Masters student. He is studying Accounting and Auditing at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv in Ukraine. In addition to that he is also Head of International department at the Ukrainian youth NGO ‘Foundation of Regional Initiatives’. He says that the Forum has helped him and can help others in many ways.
difficulties, whereas fighting alone we often loose. Actually, the most remarkable thing during both Forums – in Nowy Sacz and in Krynica – was the emphasis on pan-European cooperation, whilst respecting the past and the passion to create a new common history, free from stereotypes and malice and tolerant to everyone, everywhere. I would now like to turn to the subjects covered in the forum. Taking into consideration the panels at the Forum
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tion about Ukraine’s future and commented about Mrs. Tymoshenko’s role.
I have known Tymoshenko for many years. Please, do not make her an icon of democracy! It was ridiculous by some EU countries to stop negotiations with Ukraine regarding her situation. That has nothing to do with democracy. Günter Verheugen
MAT DAVIES is from Wales in the United Kingdom. He is the chief editor of the forum post. He studied in Leeds and Cardiff and specialises in political economy with an interest in financial and labour market policies at the European level. In the past he has worked as a lecturer in Ukraine, Taiwan, Poland and Germany. As a journalist he has written for several newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle (USA), the Western Mail (UK) and as an economic and business columnist for the Krakow Post (Poland). He maintains a blog at www.mathewdavies.eu
VITALIY LIPICH is from Ukraine and is based in Dublin. For many years he has been working as a manager of Nasha Sprava Centre in Lutsk. Currently he works as an advisor to the European Youth4Media Network e.V. He graduated Volyn National University in Lutsk and the London School of Economics. His main fields of interest are democracy development, civil society issues, community media and web-TV as well as new technologies and startups.
MICHELE TURATI is a young Italian economist. He is currently working for Hewlett-Packard in Wroclaw. He graduated from the University of Brescia and in the past he acted as a Project Manager for the World Trade Center in Brescia and East Lombardy between 2010 and 2012. He has proven expérience as an administrator. This can be observed as the Secretary General for the FATF (the Netherlands, 2010) and as the former Financial Director of AEGEE-Europe (Belgium, 2006-2007). He enjoys jogging and cooking tiramisu for his guests.
MALTE KOPPE is from Germany and is based in Warsaw. He is the chairman of the programme council for 2012-2013. He is currently working as a junior officer at the German-Polish Youth Office (DPJW/PNWM). This is an international organization which was established by the German and Polish government. It aims to foster cooperation among young people from Germany and Poland. He graduated in Political Science from Münster (Germany) and Lublin (Poland). His former posts have included the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin) and the Nowy Staw Foundation (Lublin). His main interests include the international cooperation throughout civil society and contemporary developments in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Malte is a talented linguist and speaks German (native), Polish, English and Russian.
MARIYA ROMANYSHYN is Ukrainian and is currently a teaching assistant at Lviv Polytechnic National University whilst pursuing a PhD degree in Economics. She has a long history in academia. She graduated in 2007 with a BA degree in Management and in 2008 with an MA. More broadly she is interested in the subject of economics/business: entrepreneurship, organizational management (strategic management, financial management, HR management, and leadership), risk management, and marketing. However, she is also a human being and therefore enjoys her life beyond economics, business, and international relations. For example she enjoys playing the piano, singing, tennis, and swimming.
MICHAL WOJCIK is a Polish graduate of international relations. He studied at Maria Curie Sklodowska University in Lublin. He is the programme director of the Economic Forum of Young Leaders. Furthermore he is one of the key organizers of this event, and has been involved since 2006. He works at the European Meeting Centre at the Nowy Staw Foundation. His main fields of interest include political education programmes, civil society issues, community media and web-TV as well as international policy, especially the relationship between the EU and it’s neighbour countries.
On the last day participants of our Forum attended the Economic Forum in Krynica Photograph by Aleksander Wolak
of Young Leaders, I want to stress on their usefulness. Indeed, most of the topics concerned ‘hot’ points in the development of economies and democracy in just-built ‘new’ Eastern Europe. Many points concerned not only the financial crisis in Europe but also problems of democracy and prevailing authoritarian regimes in Eastern Europe. Of course, special guests at the Forum such as Lech Walesa, Tibor Navracsics and Günter Verheugen were worth listening to and questioning. However, it was also a good opportunity to question many famous politicians and businessmen from many different angles concerning Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership and, of course, the crisis of the Eurozone. Unfortunately, only a few of guests shared clear opinions in response to questions. The most prominent was Mr. Verheugen who answered my ques-
I agree with him 100%. Ukraine is not only about Tymoshenko. There are 45 million more who are now suffering from the triangle of ‘Tymoschenko – the EU – and Yanukovych’. Ukrainian people just feel like pawns between the white queen Tymoshenko only receiving grey support from the West under the black king Yanukovych. More generally, I want to underline one more time the importance of non-formal communications between youngsters. The Economic Forum of Young Leaders was an ideal opportunity to visit Economic Forum in Krynica and to see how real businessmen and politicians share opinions, negotiate and discuss. Active participation in the Forum is a good chance to gain new and important experiences, practical knowledge, and to inspire others and to be inspired by others! n
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A Welsh overview of the Economic Forum of Young Leaders Mathew Davies, United Kingdom
POINT OF VIEW The Economic Forum of Young Leaders is an annual meeting which is spearheaded by the Nowy Staw Foundation in Poland. It allows young people throughout the private, public and voluntary sector to network and learn from the business models deployed in their nation states. Leaders from across Europe travel to the event to debate competition and monopoly policies, and political initiatives which target growth and sustainability in 21st century Europe. It is the largest forum of its type and past speakers have included leading politicians and economists from national and global financial institutions. For 5 years I have witnessed the initiative develop. During that time participants have discovered their economic and political voice and established long-term partnerships and found successful and rewarding employment. Michał Wójcik, the Director of the Forum says ‘’we want to bring together young ambitious people from the EU, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Caucasus. They have so much in common, but they rarely meet and share their experience. We want to change that. We want to create a young people’s Davos, where young Europeans will have a chance to discuss European and global economic and political issues’’. Young people tend to participate because they are passionate and ambitious. I first became involved because I wanted to challenge the proponents of wage repression and labour market flexibility. Others have had the tenacity to discuss competition, progressive taxation, and growth policies in addition to sustainability initiatives and gender balance. This year I will be chairing
Editorial board “The Forum Post“ CHIEF EDITOR: Mathew Davies EDITOR: Michał Wójcik LAYOUT AND EDITING: Źmicier Hryškievič
© 2012, All rights reserved.
the subject of growth vs. austerity and the young people, the very people who will introduce the Welsh Governments will inherit the post-austerity economic approach to the future labour market, landscape to speak up, and plot and and try to get people thinking about the plan the society they would like to see role of investment and money creation. emerge. This is just as important as it In Wales, programs like Jobs Growth was in the first half of the 20th century. Wales and Sure Start target youth un- With the centreground of politics under employment and early year’s develop- threat due to pressures presented by the ment. They address some of the social euro zone crisis, general political inertia costs presented by the double-dip recession we are experiencing. Those projects are vitally important today with anti European attitude sweeping the continent. It is Important to realise that for states to have the power to affect real decisions, today that comes by working with the EU, not against it. In the UK, the British government has failed to set a benchmark for securing inward in crisis - panel discussion. 5.09.2012 business investment and Europe Photograph by Aleksander Wolak positive foreign relations. I am therefore proud to be part of a more rational and co-operative and the worrying rise of far right parties. movement. Indeed, the forum demon- A productive debate is demanded with strates what is possible when networks leaders throughout Europe and beyond. work together. Unfortunately, the initia- We will be addressing issues pertaining tives which make it possible are rarely to productive, sustainable and responpromoted in my constituency called sible ways for businesses to start up and Monmouthshire. Sadly, three years for states to co-operate. In the future, ago I approached one organisation in the programme council will work hard Cardiff which offered the chance for to develop a young leader’s think tank youngsters to gain experience and skills which will bring together empirical evithrough the EU funded program called dence throughout the continent, and Youth-in-Action. I was told by one or- develop policy prescriptions. n ganiser that they chose not tell everyone about them because ‘everyone’ Forum’s Partner would then apply for them. Whilst this is one case, it demonstrated the broader resilience to EU programs – something I have continually encountered in the UK. In contrast to the short-term thinking and self interested approach some of those organisations and politicians hold with regard to the EU, it is up to
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AUTHORS: Natalie Antkowiak Ewelina Chylińska Mathew Davies Malte Koppe Yaroslav Melekh Mariya Romanyshyn Gabriela Virostková Michał Wójcik
ADDRESS: Skłodowskiej-Curie 3, 20-029 Lublin, Poland EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Reproduction and dissemination of any of the information contained in ths magazine is encouraged, provided that The Forum Post (forumleaders.eu) is acknowledged as the source of the material.