On October 30th, 2012 Industrial Foundation (publisher of Liberté) in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and 4liberty.eu network organized the Liberal Social Policy Conference. The event took place in Warsaw, in Sobieski Radisson Hotel. The partners of the conference included: Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan, Civic Development Forum, Project: Poland. The conference formed a part of the project: “Creation of the vision of liberal social policy in Poland” supported by the Democracy in Action Program of the Stefan Batory Foundation. The media patrons of the conference included: TVN CNBC, Wyborcza.biz and MojeOpinie.pl. The conference was an accompanying event of 4liberty.eu think tank meeting on 29th of October.
The participants of the conference came from different countries: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. We hosted prominent Polish managers, economists, ngo activists, public administration representatives, former politicians from Union of Freedom and Democratic Party.
The conference program consisted of two lectures and three panel discussions. Firstly, dr Borek Severa from Naumann Foundation and Blazej Lenkowski from Liberté! welcome the participants. The conference was opened by the speech: “Social policy in employer’s perspective” made by Jeremi Mordasewicz, advisor to the board from Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan. He emphasized the importance of deregulation of labor market. Then we moved on to the first panel discussion dedicated to the reforms of pension systems. Participants of the discussion called “The comparison of pension systems” included: prof. Marek Góra, Warsaw School of Economics, creator of Polish pension system reform in 1999, Ireneusz Jabłoński from Adam Smith Center, Svetla Kostadinova, executive director of the Institute for Market Economics (Bulgaria) and Jan Oravec, chairman of F. A. Hayek Foundation (Slovakia). An interesting polemic appeared between prof. Góra – supporter of defined contribution pension system and other panelists who were in favor of Canadian pension system or private savings system. The main conclusion from the discussion was that it is inevitable to reform pension systems further to make retirement age higher or to transform system into minimum pension system for all. The second panel discussion was called: “Do we need sustainable regional development?”. The speakers were: dr Łukasz Hardt, University of Warsaw, Sobieski Institute, Ignacy Morawski, chief economist of Polish Bank of Entrepreneurship, Marcin Celiński best online casino from Liberté! and prof. Jiří Schwarz, chairman of Liberal Institute (the Czech Republic). This discussion was channelled to the topic of inefficiency of public administration and its limited ability to implement sustainable development programs. The main conclusion was that some patterns from management of business and corporations should be implemented into public administration, new public management ought to be the direction for bureaucracy.
The last panel discussion was called: “How to create flexible labour market in the EU? Jeremi Mordasewicz, advisor to the Board of Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan, dr Wiktor Wojciechowski, chief economist of Invest Bank, Civil Development Forum, Rita Griguolaite, Lithuanian Free Market Institute (Lithuania) and Richard Durana – director of Institute of Economics and Social Studies took part in the discussion. The speakers agreed that deregulation of labor market is the key move to fight with unemployment. The conference was capped with the key note speech: “Why the state tends to fails” given by prof. Leszek Balcerowicz, former minister of finance of Poland, the chief of the Council of Civic Development Forum.
The conference was visible also in the mass media, on the following sites:
- Two interviews given by conference speakers for TVN CNBC.
- Conference announcement on Wyborcza.biz
- Conference relation on MojeOpinie.
The conference was a great opportunity to share the opinions in different areas of social policy between experts from different countries from Central and Eastern Europe. We hope that it also strengthened the tights between members of 4liberty.eu network. Some conclusions from the conference will be used in publications that will be published by Liberté! in December 2012 about liberal social policy in Poland.