Summary of the first part of the 7th edition of Congress 590

The 7th edition of the Kongres 590, a key economic event in Poland, has ended.

Talks on the future of the Polish economy, security and strengthening cooperation within the framework of the Three Seas Initiative, the situation in Ukraine, the establishment of the Three Seas Initiative Leaders Academy and the signing of a letter of intent on the construction of small nuclear reactors – these were the main points of the event that ended on Thursday.

The 7th edition of the Kongres 590 was inaugurated by Polish President Andrzej Duda. Speaking on the Leaders’ Stage, the President referred to Ukraine, security, the Three Seas Initiative and Polish independence.

– We hope that the community will soon be enlarged to include Ukraine. I am glad that we have given Ukraine the status of a country cooperating with the Three Seas Initiative, the President said, while emphasizing the increasingly important role played by the initiative.

– In the Three Seas Initiative, we talk about joint development, how to facilitate the transportation of goods, security and building ties. This cooperation is already bringing us tangible results, he noted.

He also noted the role of the Kongres 590 in showing Poland as an attractive place to invest and creating synergies between politics and the business world.

Jacek Sasin, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, emphasized that only together with the Three Seas Initiative countries are we able to respond to the dangers and undertake effective competition with the largest players in the global market. He also drew attention to energy-related issues.

– I am glad that the countries of our region are investing in other energy sources, including nuclear power. Polish companies – PKN Orlen, KGHM, Enea Group – are leaders who see nuclear power as the future.

One of the main topics has been the merger of PKN Orlen with Lotos Group. The new entity will become a powerful concern that can carry out the energy transition and guarantee Poland’s raw material independence, which will translate into strengthening the country’s energy security.

– The topic of merging the two companies has been a subject of discussion for 20 years, but it was only four years ago, at the beginning of 2018, that the process took off, recalled Marek Garniewski of PKN Orlen’s Investor Relations Office. – This merger should have happened much, much earlier. It represents the right response to the difficult times. This is a step towards raw material and energy independence.

The concern which was created as a result of the merger will invest, among other things, in green energy, including offshore and onshore wind farms and photovoltaics, as well as in alternative fuels, small nuclear power and biomaterials, which will significantly contribute to reducing the Polish economy’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Alternative energy sources were the topics of several panels discussed at the Congress. It is worth mentioning that it is the development of the distribution network that determines further investments in the field of RES.

– By 2030. PGE will allocate PLN 75 billion for investments. We are currently implementing the Baltica Offshore Wind Farm project in the Baltic Sea with a capacity of 2.5 GW together with our Danish partner. Work is proceeding according to schedule and in 4 years the first electricity from PGE will flow from the Baltic Sea, said Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A.

The first part of the Congress culminated in the signing of a letter of intent on cooperation between Enea Group and Last Energy in the development of small modular nuclear reactors. As emphasized by Paweł Majewski, President of the Management Board of Enea S.A., modular nuclear power, as a safe, scalable and controllable energy source, can be an important pillar of Polish energy security.

– Moving directly into renewable energy is possible, but requires much more time than assumed until recently, Pawel Majewski pointed out. – Therefore, we need to introduce zero-carbon energy, safe and controllable. And that is what small nuclear reactors are, he pointed out.

During this year’s edition of the Kongres 590, the project of the Three Seas Initiative Leaders Academy was initiated – a platform for exchanging knowledge and creating new ideas and solutions in key areas of the economy. These are meetings of dozens of young people from the 12 countries, held every year under the auspices of the Kongres 590, which additionally this year included representatives of countries associated with the region, namely Ukraine, Turkey and Moldova. This is the first program of its kind implemented by a Three Seas Initiative. The Strategic Partner of the project is PKN ORLEN.

Much attention during the Congress was devoted to the situation in Ukraine. The invited experts discussed how to help Ukraine in rebuilding its economic potential, including the health care system, and in eliminating war damage.

– We were part of the USSR and have managed to join all international formats in 30 years; we are developing our economy,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister of Economy of Ukraine.

Viktor Liashko, Ukraine’s Minister of Health, said that Poland can help Ukraine introduce a number of information transfer solutions.

Above all, we are interested in telemedicine, he said. He added, in war-torn Ukraine, remote medical advice, even surgical advice, is not the future, but the present. – Today, surgeons have to deal with cases they have never dealt with before. The possibility of online help is often a matter of life and death.

The European Union’s willingness to participate in the reconstruction of Ukraine’s health care system was declared by Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

– Since the outbreak of the war, we have spent more than 300 million euro on humanitarian aid, she said. – More than 8 million people have received such aid, in Ukraine and abroad. We have managed to evacuate more than 600 patients.

She added that there is no need to wait for the end of the war, as reconstruction or reform of the health care system can start now.

– We are ready to be at the forefront of the reconstruction effort, but also of the reforms being introduced, she said. – We support President Zelenski and his idea of partnership.

Waldemar Buda, Minister of Development and Technology, stressed that information about Ukraine’s candidate status when it comes to membership in the European Union will stimulate reforms and the overall economy of our neighbor.

American strategist Dr. George Friedman, who was a guest of the Congress, stressed that during the war in Ukraine, Poland is advancing to a position of European leadership.

– Poland is now the most influential country in Europe and is becoming a leader during the war in Ukraine, regardless of whether others follow, Dr. Friedman said.

He added that Poland is changing, from a country that 10-15 years ago avoided confrontation and always submitted to others, into a country that is taking the initiative and controlling the situation.

Wojciech Majewski, Chairman of the Board of the Kongres 590, briefly summarized the 7th edition.

– We touched on the issues that are most important for Poland in the current situation, namely the international cooperation of the Three Seas Initiative countries and models for ensuring energy security. We made a big step towards guaranteeing the country’s energy independence. We should focus on strengthening relations with the countries of the initiative, as this can be a guarantee of our security, he said.

Strategic Partners of the event are: Enea S.A., PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna and PKN ORLEN.

Main Plus Partners are the companies: PKO Bank Polski, PZU Group and TAURON Group.

Main Partners are the companies: Pekao S.A., KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. and the National Institute for Research and Development.

Broadcasts of panels and expert speeches are available on the YouTube channel of the Kongres 590.