Senior fellow, Bruegel
Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies, Senior Economist at the World Bank,
Director of the International Department at Narodowy Bank Polski,
Lead CEE Economist, UniCredit Research,
The event served as a platform for discussing Poland’s economic success during the last 25 years and possible risks and opportunities for its future growth. At the center of the discussion was the new book by Marcin Piatkowski, Senior Economist at the World Bank. Some of the key statements of the event can be summarized as follows:
• The communist regime can be seen as a shock that helped Poland to evolve from a so-called exclusive society to an inclusive state, paving the way towards becoming a successful transition economy.
• Adapting the European institutions was a key factor in achieving economic growth. However, Poland’s transition is still ongoing and requires a higher amount of institutional support.
• A large number of Poles seems to be malcontent with the current situation in the country. In particular, a strong perception of inequality between rural and urban regions exists. Moreover, significant differences in income levels between Poland and other countries lead to a high amount of emigration.
• The BREXIT might set an incentive for some Poles to return, but reforms in the labor market are necessary in order to reverse emigration.
• The panel agreed that Poland’s growth will continue in the near future, but will most likely slow down. According to Mr. Piatkowski, EU disintegration is the biggest risk for Poland’s transition.
• Several challenges towards sustaining future growth were highlighted: finding a way to cope with the ageing population, improving the overall quality of education and other public services, strengthening the energy infrastructure and innovating the economy
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