The 10th edition of the NBP Annual Flagship Conference on the Future of the European Economy
Central Europe’s Convergence
Warszawa, 21 October 2022
Central Europe’s Convergence was the topic of the 10th edition of the NBP Annual Flagship Conference on the Future of the European Economy. The conference was held on 21 October 2022 in the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw.
Narodowy Bank Polski once again hosted economists from many European economies, which included high-ranking representatives of central banks, international financial institutions and academic centres. Around 250 participants attended the conference. This year’s edition focused on discussions about the sources of and outlook for economic convergence in Europe, with particular emphasis on Central Europe.
The conference was opened by First Deputy Governor of NBP, Marta Kightley, and then a special letter from President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda was read to the conference participants. Next, the keynote address was delivered by Philippe Aghion, renowned French economist and professor of Collège de France and the London School of Economics. In his speech he drew special attention to the role of innovation in increasing the competitiveness of modern economies.
The main part of the conference consisted of 3 discussion panels. The first of these, moderated by Robert Holzmann, Governor of Oesterreichische Nationalbank, focused on economic convergence in the European and structural context. The second panel, moderated by Gediminas Šimkus, Chairman of the Board of Lietuvos bankas, focused on the growth and convergence factors of the economies of the Central European states. Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia, moderated the last panel, known as the Crystal Ball, which is traditionally focused on looking into the future. This panel discussion attempted to define the factors determining convergence in Central Europe in the coming years.
At the end of the conference, Sergiy Nikolaychuk, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, delivered a special address to the conference on the economy of Ukraine and the prospects of its reconstruction. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused enormous losses to the economy; in 2022 GDP is expected to drop by almost 1/3. Despite the difficulties, the financial sector is stable and the National Bank of Ukraine is ensuring the continuity of the payment system.
The conference discussion panels confirmed the thesis about the significant convergence of Central European countries in relation to West European countries, and especially the Mediterranean countries. Thanks to the reforms, sound economic policy pursued by the countries of Central Europe in the past decades, the development of entrepreneurship, and also thanks to the inflow of foreign investment and the benefits of European integration, these countries have significantly increased their level of development. The energy crisis and other effects of the war in Ukraine are external circumstances creating a risk for the further development of our region and the whole of Europe.
Narodowy Bank Polski was represented by Marta Kightley, First Deputy Governor of NBP, Members of the Management Board (Paweł Mucha, Rafał Sura, Marta Gajęcka and Piotr Pogonowski), Members of the Monetary Policy Council, as well as directors of NBP departments, including Kamila Sukiennik, Director of the General Management Department, Piotr Szpunar, Director of the Economic Analysis and Research Department, Olga Szczepańska, Director of the Financial Stability Department and Agata Łagowska, Director of the International Department.
- Keynote speech
- Session I. Economic convergence in a wider European and structural context
- Session II. Drivers of growth and convergence of Central European Economies
- “Crystal Ball” Panel: Prospects for Central Europe’s convergence in the future