3rd European Economic Congress opens in Poland

13:50, May 17, 2011      

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Competitiveness of EU's economy, EU' s energy safety, Hungary's and Poland's presidency of the EU were the main topics at the third European Economic Congress opened Monday in Katowice, central Poland.

Attending the meeting were the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Poland as well as European Parliament (EP) President and Congress host Jerzy Buzek and EU Industry and Entrepreneurship Commissioner Antonio Tajani.

"We want a united, free and frontierless Europe with faith in its own future," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said at opening of the Congress.

Tusk noted that the countries of central-eastern Europe had to wait decades to be able to "live in a jointly-won free Europe." Commenting the current Hungarian EU presidency and Poland's approaching tour in the EU chair, Tusk said that both presidencies were "links in the chain of the great symbolic battle for a free central Europe."

Tusk also expressed hope that Croatia would join the EU under Poland's presidency of the Community starting this July.

Commenting European voices doubting the sense of European unity, Tusk assured that central-European countries and their leaders " were not asking themselves this question".

Tusk declared that during its presidency of the EU, Poland will be fighting for a uniform and a "really free" market in the EU.

Buzek said that the EU was the world's biggest economy but warned that its growth pace was too slow. Buzek also criticized insufficient European outlays for modernization and innovation.

The EP president pointed to the need to build EU's competitiveness necessary in creation of jobs. "Jobs are absolutely most important for our citizens. That is why we should begin with the competitiveness which requires difficult structural reforms," Buzek was quoted as saying by the PAP news agency.

Nearly 100 panel sessions and debates will be held during the three-day congress.

Source: Xinhua
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