Over 100 members and guests turned up for the event. Dorota Polańska, the Executive Manager Customer Relations of Syrena Hotels group introduced the newly refurbished Hotel MDM and its two sister hotels, the Polonia Palace and the Metropol. Michael Dembinski, the BPCC's chief advisor gave a short speech summing up Poland's achievements since the political and economic transformation was initiated in 1989. “Poland has become more transparent, less corrupt, with better governance and stronger institutions. EU funds, training and exchange programmes have vastly improved the quality of Poland's public administration. There's still much to do in terms of streamlining bureaucracy, but in general things are far better than before EU accession. We can see this in global rankings from Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index where Poland has been moving inexorably upwards in each year since joining the EU to the World Bank's Doing Business, in which Poland is seen as a country in which it is becoming easier to form a company, employ people or pay taxes. There's still a long way to go, but progress has marked and indisputable,” he said.
Mr Dembinski also mentioned the mass migration of Poles to the British Isles and the economic benefits that have accrued to the UK, in particular from the tens of thousands of businesses set up by entrepreneurial Poles.
He spoke of the challenges facing the EU in the future. “From the point of view of business, we want to see the completion of the Single European Market as a priority, rather than a rush towards a federal super-state based on lifestyle directives. The Single Market in services and digital is crucial. Tough, detailed negotiations with the USA on achieving harmonised standards and abolishing tariffs and non-tariff barriers must be completed. Europe needs subsidiarity – regulating at the appropriate level, Europe needs proportionality – not dumping regulations intended for large corporates onto micro-businesses. Europe needs to focus on regaining competitiveness.”
Mr Dembinski mentioned an event being organised at the Chamber on the afternoon of 2 July, “The Round Table with the CBI, representatives of the ministries of the economy, finance and foreign affairs, will give our members the chance to come forward with examples of barriers to business that could be removed at the EU and Polish level. We will be working together with the British Embassy, the Confederation of British Industry and PKPP Lewiatan to further the EU reform agenda, for a Europe that's focused on common-sense ways of boosting competitiveness.”