Warsaw, 5th April 2023
We need a strategy to restore Poland’s importance on the international arena!
On 4th April at 3 pm, a conference inaugurating the Agenda Poland 2030 project was held in the Freedom Lounge. During the meeting, issues that are essential from the perspective of Poland were discussed, including national security, as well as how to respond to future challenges.
The dynamics of events that transpired in recent years are but a historical opportunity that is opening up for Poland. Not only our prosperity and security, but also the political order of the whole of Europe and its relations with what will emerge from Russia in the future may depend on how we make use of Poland’s growing significance in Europe today. The strategic goal of Polish policy should be to create a permanent Berlin-Warsaw-Paris axis within which decisions would be made on the most important aspects of European foreign and economic policies, as well as concerning the model of EU cooperation. To achieve this, Poland must be wealthy and strong. We want to help build it; therefore, we updated the programme of the Polish Agenda regarding the critical areas of the functioning of the state.
The first Agenda Poland was published 4 years ago. You can find it on our website: agendapolska.wei.org.pl. A number of our postulates resulting from that analysis of the political and economic situation were taken into consideration, while others over time have become even more urgent and are still waiting for their implementation. The experience of the first Agenda Poland gave us not only a wealth of knowledge, but also faith that even the most ambitious and seemingly abstract goals can be achieved. The project, to which we invite not only our experts, but all those who see the uniqueness of the moment and the opportunities ahead of Poland, will be widely consulted and will not be limited to pure theory, but also practical ideas for its implementation.
The following are our key postulates:
- The most urgent task for the state is to restore the authority and dignity of the judiciary. Things have gone so far that the only option available is the Zero Option, which includes, among other things, the liquidation of the Constitutional Tribunal and the State Tribunal, and a transfer of their powers to the Supreme Court; the appointment of a new National Justice Board whose members would be appointed in equal numbers of 5 persons by the judiciary itself, the President of the Republic of Poland and the academic community, and 3 persons by the government of the Republic of Poland, the parliamentary opposition, and civic society (Social Dialogue Council, Commissioner for Human Rights). The National Justice Board should deal with disciplinary matters and carry out the decommunisation of the judiciary.
- EDUCATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION. Radical reforms are necessary that will encourage the creativity, entrepreneurship, and inventiveness of Poles. We postulate, among others, for the introduction of an Education Voucher and changes to the role of the state in education – the state should not organise, but finance education, while schools ought to be transferred (excluding real estate) to parents, teachers, private companies, associations, local governments, foundations etc. by way of tenders.
- The role of the state in healthcare ought to be changed from running hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities to financing healthcare for citizens. Furthermore, universal health insurance should be introduced, which the state would purchase for each citizen in the insurance company of their choosing. Insurers must organise themselves into a Reinsurance Fund in the event of bankruptcy of one of them.
- If we are to quickly catch up with wealthy Western economies in terms of development and have the necessary funds for national defence, it is necessary to radically deregulate the economy according to the EU+0 formula, and to make the labour market more flexible. It is also necessary to introduce fundamental stability of the legal system. New economic regulations should only enter into force once a year, after a vacatio legis of at least twelve months.
- SOCIAL POLICY. We are changing the model of social policy to a fully automated one. Both the available IT tools and data collected by the National Revenue Administration and the Social Insurance Institution are sufficient for this purpose. We eliminate the human factor in the social benefits’ process. Mechanisms for benefits valorisation should also be automated. We exclude affluent people from the support system, and at the same time we introduce the “one zloty for one zloty” rule so that exceeding the income threshold per family member is not tantamount to the loss of the entire benefit, but only its reduction in proportion to exceeding said threshold.
- A key security objective is Poland’s ability to defend itself. At the same time, we draw attention to the necessity of the greatest possible involvement of the Polish defence industry. The potential of the Polish economy and science should be used to the maximum extent in defence of Poland. Purchases from foreign “shelves” should be limited to the absolute minimum.
We encourage you to have a look at the full contents of our Agenda, which can be found HERE.
Until now, these were Germany and France who decided the fate of Europe. Paradoxically, the geopolitical turmoil we are witnessing today means that Poland will be able to join these two countries, provided it introduces appropriate internal reforms. The outline of such reforms was presented by the Warsaw Enterprise Institute, the WEI Centre for Strategic Studies, the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers, and the Consumers Forum on 4th April 2023 at 3:00 p.m. at the Liberty Lounge.
During the conference, Adam Eberhadt, Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies, pointed out that the European Union is not about establishing dogmas, but pursuing a flexible form of cooperation. Poland’s strength lies in its initiative-taking policy and ability to build coalitions with the strongest European countries. This was the case recently with Internal combustion engine vehicles. As a country, we will become a valuable partner for Berlin and Paris, but only if we cooperate with them and stand together against them.
Cezary Kaźmierczak – President of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers said that when it comes to the economy, we are successfully catching up with wealthy Western countries. However, we are hindered in this race by a tragic tax system, bad economic law, and legal instability. These obstacles must be removed so that we can start acting faster, because it gives us a position in conversations with the Germans or the French. If we have a solid economy and an army, it will be possible to achieve the goal.
Tomasz Wróblewski – President of the Warsaw Enterprise Institute, in turn, stated that the goal is to create an agenda that everyone can make use of, which will determine our prospects and directions of action. Differences in society will always be there, but maybe when we engage in a strategy that deals with matters and not people, there will be less hatred.
Agnieszka Plencler – President of the Consumers’ Forum Foundation took up the topic of consumer choices vs. civic choices. Consumers, expecting social leadership in business, want to know the values and missions of brands, but in demanding situations, the price becomes the most important criterion for them. The citizen, on the other hand, choose the opposite, turning off rational thinking in a crisis situation and following emotions. This is how elections are held, people do not consider the politicians’ postulates of, and give in to empty promises. Consumers learn that when they pay, they demand, and the citizen pays, but does not account for efficiency.