Facing the Challenges in the European Union. Re-thinking EU Education and Research for Smart and Inclusive Growth (EuInteg)
Kolegium Ekonomiczno-Społeczne, Szkoła Główna Handlowa w Warszawie
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This publication contains studies on issues that nowadays are the biggest challenges for the EU and its Member States. They reflect the lines of research conducted within the framework of European studies and studies in economics and social sciences regarding issues related to the activities of the EU. This publication consists of seven parts. The first part, entitled “Understanding the European Union – the Main Challenges for the Coming Years”, provides reflections on the major challenges that the EU will have to face in the nearest future. Eminent representatives of the Polish world of science and politics have shared their views on the matter. Those representatives being: prof. Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Ph.D. – the current Minister of Science and Higher Education, Jan Truszczyński – the former Director General for Education and Culture of the European Commission, prof. Danuta Hübner, Ph.D. – the former Minister for European Affairs, Poland’s first-ever European Commissioner, and prof. Ewa Latoszek, Ph.D. – head of the Jean Monnet Chair of the European Union at Warsaw School of Economics. The second part, entitled “European Union as a Global Actor in a Changing World”, discusses the place of the European Union in the rapidly changing global economy. Articles in this section concern both the assessment of the hitherto pursued foreign policy of the EU and the possible perspectives for further cooperation with countries such as the states of the former Eastern bloc, Turkey, China, India and countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. The highly important issue of integrated development of individual regions is the focus of part three of the publication – “Regional Development for Economic and Social Cohesion in the European Union”. This part provides reflections on, among others, the role of the state in creating regional policies, the hitherto achievements of the EU’s cohesion policy and the role of other policies (for example the policy on energy or fisheries policy) for the cohesion policy and the economic growth resulting from it. Part four, “Towards Better Finance Governance in the European Union”, focuses on a particularly important matter given the EU’s experiences in recent years – that is the supervision of financial systems. The importance of this issue was clearly highlighted by the 2008+ crisis, which significantly changed the way the financial and real spheres of the economy are perceived. The focal points of the texts in this section are topics such as financial stability, supervision of financial institutions, common currency – the euro, and the reform of the EU budget. Part five, entitled “Shaping and Unfolding Innovation in the European Union”, is dedicated to innovation – an essential element for continued growth of developed economies of the West. The articles raise important issues of the EU innovation policy, the role of innovation in international relations and the impact of foreign direct investment on the development of innovation. Additionally, Polish achievements in innovation – illustrated by the example of the airline industry – have been presented. Demographic changes are the focus of part six: “Demographic Changes in the European Union – Questions for the Future”. The matter in question is important both in the context of the consequences of long-term population projections for Europe, as well as in the context of a serious migration crisis that is already being called a “refugee crisis”. What is more, much attention was devoted to the current issues of population policy, with particular emphasis on its family-oriented dimension. The final part, entitled “Education and Research as Main Drivers of the EU’s Sustainable Growth”, focuses on the role of education and scientific research in the economic development of EU countries. Particularly noteworthy is the issue of access to education as a determinant of innovativeness of the economy and the quality of life of the society, addressed in this section. Additionally, the authors reflected on the current challenges facing the educational systems of European countries. Poland’s accession to the European Union crowned the important historical stage that was the multidimensional systemic transformation. This is why the publication closes with a text entitled “The Success of Polish Transformation – Lessons for the Eastern Partnership Countries”. This text is a historical analysis of the Polish political and economic transformation and the opportunities offered by the Polish experience to countries aspiring to EU membership. In addition, it also presents the main results of a survey conducted among the participants of the EuInteg conference in which they were asked to assess various aspects of the Polish transformation. The structure of the publication and the approach to the discussed topics were presented in such a way as to give the reader a broad overview of issues regarding the most important areas of EU activities.
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