Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, together with the Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič, opened Business & Science Poland (BSP) today in Brussels. It is an organisation of employers that is to support Polish business and science in effectively representing their interests in legislative processes on the European Union forum, as well as in programming and spending EU funds on science, research and development and investments.
There are around 12,000 entities from different Member States, which conduct lobbying activities in Brussels. At the beginning of 2019, Polish interests in the EU were represented by 221 entities, of which only 20 had an office in Brussels. Organisations representing Polish entrepreneurs account for less than 2% of entities cooperating with EU institutions in Brussels. Poland is the seventh economy in the European Union, and in terms of GDP, it takes the eighth place. At the same time, among the Member States, we are only in tenth place in terms of the number of business entities conducting lobbying activities.
“This is a breakthrough moment and I am sure that in the next quarters and in the coming years, thanks to our strengthened presence in Brussels, the Polish voice in the EU will be heard even better.” – said the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki.
Strengthening the voice of Polish business and science
The analysis conducted by the Polish Economic Institute (PIE) shows that the lobbying activities of Polish enterprises in Brussels should be even stronger.
Until now, reactive lobbying has often dominated in the activities of Polish entities. Unfortunately, these are actions taken too late in the legislative process. In order to effectively pursue interests and maximize benefits, it is necessary to undertake proactive activities and engage in the legislative process at the earliest possible stage. The opening of the lobbying centre will be a major institutional strengthening of Polish business and science in Brussels– said Marcin Ociepa – Deputy Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology. Our ministry was very keen to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Poland’s membership in the European Union with a specific initiative– added the deputy head of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology.
The law-making process in Brussels is very dynamic and influenced by many entities (including European Commission, European Parliament, EU Council, Committee of the Regions, Economic and Social Committee, European Agencies, numerous think tanks and non-governmental organisations) and decision-makers. It is often necessary to maintain close relationships with all these entities, because everyone can be a potential partner to cooperate and present a coherent position. To be understood, some issues regarding EU entities should be presented, for example, from the level of an enterprise, and others from the level of think-tanks or the government. A condition for effective lobbying, according to the report of the Polish Economic Institute, is the synergy of various elements of the ecosystem. It is necessary to increase the number of Polish lobbyists in Brussels, raise their representativeness and increase funds for lobbying activities.
The EU institutions create about 75% of the law in force in Poland. Poland, which is the seventh EU economy, occupies the 10th place among the Member States in terms of the number of business entities conducting lobbying activities, and if we take into account organisations with a permanent office in Brussels, we only take 12th place. – ex aequo with Luxembourg. Our goal is to strengthen the representation of Polish entrepreneurs and science on the EU forum, which should be proportional to the size of the potential of the Polish economy. We want to be helpful in understanding the programming processes of the agenda, law-making in Brussels and Strasbourg, and taking the floor at the EU institutions. – says Tomasz Chmal, President of the Management Board of Business & Science Poland. We will be supplementing our activities both with the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union and with the Polish entities already present in Brussels.
Support and cooperation
Business & Science Poland will provide Polish entrepreneurs with support in participating in the decision-making and legislative process on the EU forum, assistance in establishing relations with stakeholders of legislative processes, decision-makers and other potential partners.
The National Centre for Research and Development is a very important partner in the BSP activities, which will support the organisation in activities addressed to entities from the science sector. Thanks to this cooperation, Polish science will be able to count on help in obtaining funding for research and development.
We want the DNA of entrepreneurs to naturally and automatically identify the development of their own business with science. I am convinced that Business and Science Poland will help increase the competitiveness of Polish business on the European level, but also strengthen awareness of how much and on what competitive conditions Polish science can offer global companies. In the Łukasiewicz Research Network, the third largest initiative of this type in Europe, we perfectly understand that competitive business means innovation and implementation of the most modern knowledge and laboratories. – said Piotr Dardziński, president of the Łukasiewicz Research Network.
The association invites to cooperation not only private businesses, but also associations of entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, scientific units or other associations of employers. The basic help from BSP is to provide administrative and substantive support in the agreed scope, an office with facilities providing comfortable working conditions, an invitation to training, discussion and networking events or even a virtual company address. Business & Science Poland has an address in Brussels, at Rue Belliard 40, in the district where the most important EU institutions are located.
The Polish voice must be clearly heard on the European forum. We need an organisation that will help Polish entrepreneurs in taking care of our interests in a place where the most important legislative decisions directly affecting their activities are taken. After 15 years of our presence in the European Union, the creation of Business & Science Poland seems natural.– said Paweł Kolczyński, vice president of Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu S.A. (Industrial Development Agency).
The members of the association today are Polish entities that define their interests in the long term and want to effectively manage regulatory risk.
The largest Polish companies belong to the group of BSP members Orlen, Lotos, PLL LOT, Grupa Azoty, KGHM, PPL Porty Lotnicze, Warsaw Stock Exchange, Totalizator Sportowy, Industrial Development Agency, Polish Security Printing Works, Invest Park and Polish Post.
Tomasz Chmal, a lawyer and a leading expert in the field of regulatory affairs, is the President of the Management Board of BSP. He was a partner at White & Case and was selected as one of the leading lawyers in “Energy & Natural Resources” Chambers Europe and Legal 500 EMEA. He is a former director of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Poland and a former board member of the Sobieski Institute. Tomasz Chmal is also an entrepreneur and co-founder of a chemical company. Piotr Dytko is the Vice President of the Management Board of BSP. He previously managed health care units and research and development companies such as the main research centre of the KGHM Capital Group – KGHM Cuprum. He was also the president of the board of the PORT Polish Centre for Technology Development.