GB No. 4(23)/96


"Ecology, democracy and market economy" , made available by The International Centre for Development of Democracy Foundation (ICDDF), is a transcription of a two day conference of the same name held in Cracow on November 24-25, 1995. The conference, which was organized by ICDDF, provided a forum in which ideas about how the Polish environmental situation relates to and will become dependent upon the integration of ecology, democracy and the new market economy. Speakers from many different backgrounds spoke on various topics, but they all seemed to agree that integrating these fields will be necessary to save Poland's environment in the future.

"Ecology, democracy and market economy" follows the proceedings of the two day convention, with translations from Polish speeches into English and English speeches into Polish. The English translations here are good (with most speeches originating in Polish), making the book both accessible to Polish and English readers.

The book begins with the inaugural session (general welcomings, and an overview of the issues to be presented in detail by the following speakers) and then continues through 4 panels (not debate panels, but rather successive speakers about related topics): (1) How to reconcile environmental protection with economic development (2) Evaluation of Agenda 21 Implementation and of Project of Activities for Environmental Protection in Central and Eastern Europe (3) Is the alliance of free market's friends and Earth's friends possible? and (4) How to combine economic and ecological education. These four panels are followed by four short, general presentations on a plan for the protection of the environment in Cracow.

The conference brought together many important people, some of whose names demand respect in many circles. The biggest of these were Professor Balcerowicz (former deputy minister) and Tadeusz Syryjczyk (aid to the prime minister). Many of these people brought together for this meeting come from the Union for Freedom political party (Unia Wolnosci); two of the leaders of which are Balcerowicz and Syryjczyk, and which was very influential in the early 1990's, but is losing this influence today. There were also local authorities, scientists and representatives from NGO's present. Most of the comments, even though coming from varied disciplines (ecology, economics, democracy and also education), were generally optimistic in the proposed efforts of combining the efforts of these disparate groups. Greenpeace International was present and provided some opposition, however, in arguing that not enough is being done, and that what needs to be done must be done much quicker.

"Ecology, democracy and market economy" did bring together many very valuable ideas about the integration of these fields. And, with the text in Polish as well as English, this publication is now made available to many interested readers. The book can be obtained through the publisher:

Companex Sc. Usługi Wydawnicze,
ul. Bieżanowska 78/48,
30-826 Kraków,
tel. 0-12 / 58-26-24

GB No. 4(23)/96 | Contents