Ten Years After: Transition and Growth in Post-Communist Countries

Ten Years After - Transition and Growth in Post-Communist Countries. That was the title of an international conference which the CASE organised in mid October, 1999. Over 300 guests from Europe, Asia and the US participated in the gathering – well-known scientists, politicians who in the course of the last ten years have been involved in reforming post-communist countries, financiers, representatives of the non-for-profit sector, students and journalists. The tenth anniversary of the launching of the economic reforms in Poland was an excellent opportunity to discuss the current economic situation in post-communist countries, to evaluate the reforms implemented so far and to analyse the perspectives of the countries of our region. It was the biggest Polish conference organised ten years after the changes had started. The list of the members of the Organisational Committee of the conference comprised the following names: Anders Aslund, Marek Dąbrowski, Rudiger Dornbusch, Cezary Józefiak, Jeffrey Sachs, Hans Juergen Wagener and Stanisław Wellisz. The conference was divided into five sessions and two panel discussions.


Session 1. Transformation: Summing up Ten Years of Experience. Moderator - Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, director at the EBRD. The major paper was prepared by Stanley Fischer, executive director at the IMF and Ratna Sahay, research fellow at the IMF. Commentators: Marek Belka, economic advisor to the President of Poland and Lajos Bokros, director at the World Bank.

Session 2. What are the Chances of Catching up with the EU? Moderator - Cezary Józefiak, member of the Monetary Policy Council. The major paper was prepared by Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for International Development at the Harvard University and his collaborator Andrew Warner. Commentators: Catherine Day, director of DG 1A in the EU responsible for contacts with the CEEC, Yegor Gaidar, director of the Institute of the Transformation of the Economy and Stanisław Gomułka, director responsible for the emerging markets in the Centre for Economic Performance in the London School of Economics.

Session 3. Globalisation, Openness of the Economy and Macroeconomic Stability. Moderator - Anders Aslund from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the US, an advisor to the governments of countries implementing economic reforms. The major paper was prepared by David Lipton, executive director at the Moore Capital Strategy Group, Daniel Gros, deputy director of the Centre of European Studies in Brussels and Jacek Rostowski, the dean of Economics Department of the Central European University in Budapest.

Session 4. The Role of Economic and Political Institutions. Moderator - Hans Juergen Wagener, director of the Frankfurt-based Institute of the Research on the Transformation. The major paper was prepared jointly by four authors: Wendy Carlin from the University College, London, Steven Fries from the EBRD, Marek Schaffer from the Heriot-Watt University and P. Seabright from the Cambridge University and CEPR. Commentators: Irena Grosfeld from Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique in Paris and Wojciech Kostrzewa, the president of the BRE Bank S.A.

Session 5. Post-communist Welfare State, the Issue of Inequity and the Challenges of Development. Moderator - Jan Winiecki, the president of Polskie Towarzystwo Ekonomiczne. The major paper was prepared by Nicholas Barr from the London School of Economics. Commentators: Stanisława Golinowska (the CASE) and Stanisław Wellisz from the Columbia University.

Political panel. Political Challenges of Transformation. Moderator - Jacques de Larosiere, advisor to Paribas. Panellists: Leszek Balcerowicz, Deputy Prime-Minister, Finance Minister of the Republic of Poland, Daniel Daianu, the chairman of the Romanian Economic Society, Vaclav Claus, the Chairman of the Deputies Chamber in the Czech Parliament,  Gramoz Pashko, advisor to the Prime Minister of Albania.

Pension panel. Bringing Back Hope: Pension Reforms in Transformation Countries.  Moderator and the author of the major paper - Michał Rutkowski from the World Bank, previously the head of the team which prepared a project of the reform of the Polish pension system. Panellists: Mikhail Dmitriew from the Moscow-based centre Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Edward Palmer, the head of the Department of Research and Evaluation at the Swedish National Insurance Board, Winfried Schmael, director of the Economics Department in the Social Policy Research Centre at the University in Bremen and Igor Tomes from the Karol University in Prague.


Prof. Lucjan Orłowski from the Sacred Heart University, who has been collaborating with our Foundation for many years, is currently working on a post-conference publication, which is to appear in the Edward Elgar publishing house. The Polish version of the publication is being prepared by Jarosław Neneman, the secretary of the conference.