Grasshopper no 5, Winter '94


The Foundation "International Center for the Development of Democracy" (MCRD) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, conference/ research center which propagates the bases and culture of democracy, disseminates knowledge about democratic institutions and about the liberal economy, promotes understanding between the societies of Central and Eastern Europe, and supports the political and economic integration of Europe.

The Foundation "International Center for the Development of Democracy" was founded in July, 1993, by the Jagiellonian University, the Academy of Economics in Cracow, and Mr. Bogdan Klich, a doctor as well as social and political activist who is the Chairman of the Foundation.

In February, 1993, the Foundation organized the Polish-Ukrainian Conference "New Challenges -- New Responsibility." Politicians, economists, social activists, publicists, and representatives of the economic spheres from both countries took part in the conference. The aim of the conference was to assess the state of Polish-Ukrainian relations as well as to define methods of strengthening political and economic cooperation. The conference was accompanied by the Polish-Ukrainian Economic Forum, an exhibition of offers of Polish firms interested in trade with Ukraine.

In October, 1993, the Foundation organized the Polish-Czech-Slovak-Hungarian Conference "Together or Apart?" during which the participants discussed the future of the Vysehrad Group. Problems of regional security, integration with the EC and NATO, the Central European market, and border cooperation were discussed. During the excursion/session in Zakopane, a declaration concerning the creation of the "Tatry" region was signed.

In 1993 the Foundation was the co-organizer of two other international events: the Peace Train and the First International Forum of Economic Contacts "East-West."

On April 8, 1993, the Peace Train set out from Cracow for the South to reach Budapest in two days. On the way it stopped in areas of Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania which are the sites of ethnic conflicts. The intention of the travelling politicians, intellectuals, and representatives of ethnic minorities of Central Europe was to emphasize the necessity of solving the ethnic problems through dialogue, without the use of force.

The First International Forum of Economic Contacts consisted of a conference on the subject of privatization and social policy in countries of the former Communist bloc as well as an economic "business-contact" meeting. It was an opportunity for the exchange of experiences and for the establishment of direct contacts (networking) among the theoreticians and practicians in the subject of market economy in our region.

In September, 1993, a cycle of educational programs was initiated by the Foundation. The guests of the Foundation were groups of young people from France and Ukraine, for whom a program of lectures concerning public life in Poland as well as journalist workshops were prepared. In November, 1993, the Foundation organized a program of meetings with political and economic circles for Albanian journalists.

The Political-Economic Club, which was founded in September of 1993, is geared to the political and economic circles in Cracow. Its aim is to facilitate access to persons responsible for key decisions in Poland and in neighboring countries as well as to promote essential discussion on the most important public problems. In 1993 the guests of the club included the Ukrainian and Hungarian ambassadors in Poland, representatives of the Slovakian and Czech embassies, and representatives of trade bureaus in Poland. The promotion of books on the subject of democracy published by "Znak" and "W drodze" took place in the frame of the meetings. In 1993 the club's activities were finished off by a visit of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Krzystof Skubiszewski. This year the guests of the club have included Mr. Andrzej Arendarski, the President of the National Chamber of Economy; Mr. Józef Lassota, the President of Cracow; and Mr. Leszek Moczulski, the head of KPN.

In January 1994 the Foundation established the Center for European Studies, a research and educational institution whose main objective is to conduct studies and disseminate knowledge on the subject of the integration process in Europe as well as to facilitate contacts between Polish economic and social institutions and partners from the European Union, Vysehrad Group, Russia, and Ukraine.

On June 23-24, 1994, the Polish-Russian conference "Towards New Partnership" took place, opening public debate on the subject of political and economic cooperation between both countries. The guests of the conference were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Poland and Russia, Mr. Andrzej Olechowski and Mr. Kozyrev.

The Foundation's activities so far this year have also included the conference "Poland in Europe" (June 17-19), which was devoted to the integration of Poland into the European Community and NATO.

"International Center
for the Development of Democracy" Foundation
ul. Mikołajska 4
31-027 Kraków, POLAND
tel./fax 48/12/21 62 50

Grasshopper no 5, Winter '94 | Contents