CASE is 30 years old!

It is hard to believe, but CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research is turning 30 this year! It is a great achievement that an institution founded in August 1991 by 10 people[1], without the experience and knowledge needed to run a private institution, and without financial capital, has survived in good shape for three decades. CASE has carried out much-needed activities in Poland and internationally, ensuring the high quality of its work at all times. Despite the limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation has entered its jubilee year in good financial shape, and we can celebrate our anniversary with satisfaction.

I have been with CASE from the very beginning: I was a member of the founding group, a vice president for the first 17 years of CASE, then president of the Management Board for four years, and for the last 13 years I have been a Chairwoman of the CASE Supervisory Council (the equivalent of a supervisory board in companies). So I have - as they say - an institutional memory, because I have been on the inside for all 30 years.

The 30th birthday is a time to summarize CASE's achievements.

The Center was a child of the political breakthrough in Poland. It was also tangible proof of the freedom that the political breakthrough of 1989 gave us. CASE was an initiative of a group of people who had experience in research and teaching in the People's Republic of Poland, and who in the first years after the 1989 breakthrough worked for various state institutions, which – unlike the business sector – were very slow to change. Our individual frustrations and desire to create something new born the idea of founding a private research institute operating in the field of economic sciences.

Only a few private think tanks established in post-communist countries shortly after the political transformation have stood the test of time. CASE has succeeded. Our strengths have been: our determination to influence institutional change in the economy; our ability to attract good economists; our investment in young talent; our attention to publishing and communicating our research; and finally, our commitment to quality, without which you cannot gain reputation, which is needed to run a think tank in a competitive market economy. And there are three more important factors that make the institution stable. The first is the strong commitment of several founders to run (management and supervision) the organization over 21 years, and their commitment was not based on financial aspects. The second factor: we managed to go – although it was not easy – to the second stage of the organization's development, and when it was time for a generational change, we had to entrust CASE management to younger people, who, naturally, were from the outside of the founders' circle. The third factor: the Foundation started without financial capital, and although it has begun building its endowment fund since 2006, it never had financial comfort. Typically, at the beginning of the year, we did not have secured funding for the entire year. Such financial discomfort was a strong incentive for the board to act very prudently. 

CASE operated in three different eras, adjusting its activities to them accordingly: first, we lived with the systemic transformation in Poland and other post-Soviet countries; then with the preparation of Poland and other post-communist countries for EU membership; and finally with EU and global issues.

We, the 'CASE people' – the Foundation's staff from various periods, experts working on our projects, CASE Fellows, employees, as well as members of the Foundation's Council, founders and members of its successive management boards – have much to celebrate!

Over the course of 30 years, the Foundation has completed more than 600 projects. In total, we have carried out assistance projects for ... 105 countries, including most of the post-communist countries and other developing countries. We have done dozens of international research projects with large international research teams. We have several publication series, initially they were in paper, then paper and electronic, now they are mostly only e-publications, and they are widely distributed. We note with satisfaction the citations of CASE publication authors in economics articles and books. We have organized many national and international conferences, seminars (including a series of public economic seminars that we have been conducting for 30 years in cooperation with mBank and its predecessors), we engage in consultations on governmental, foreign and EU programs, and we take part in international and national scientific discussions. We have organized many national and international conferences and seminars (including a series of economic seminars that we have been conducting for 30 years in cooperation with mBank and its predecessors), we engage in consultations on governmental, foreign, and EU programs, and we take part in international and national scientific discussions.

CASE has been high in international rankings for several years.

More than 1,000 experts have worked on CASE projects: Poles and people of many other nationalities. Young economists who began their professional careers with CASE can be found in many important university centers and international organizations, including the ECB, and they are our best business card.

CASE is entering its 30th year with a strong reputation, a strong team, and a strong position in Poland and Europe.

I invite you to celebrate with us.


Ewa Balcerowicz

Chairwoman of CASE Supervisory Council


[1] CASE founders: Tadeusz Baczko, Ewa Balcerowicz, Barbara Błaszczyk, Władysław Brzeski, Krzysztof Chmielewski, Andrzej Cylwik, Marek Dąbrowski, Anna Fornalczyk, Stanisława Golinowska, and Jacek Rostowski.