13 Jun 2023 | Łódz

Conservative regional leaders discuss the future of skills at the European Economic Forum in Łódź

13 Jun 2023 | Łódz

Conservative regional leaders discuss the future of skills at the European Economic Forum in Łódź

The ECR Group in the CoR hosted a conference panel at the European Economic Forum, organised by Mr Grzegorz Schreiber, Marshal of the Łódzkie Region and ECR Member.

The topic of this year's panel was "The European Year of Skills". Conservative regional leaders analysed the challenges and opportunities offered by Europe's changing labour market environment, and discussed local and regional solutions for the creation of a more resilient labour market against the backdrop of the EU's green and digital transitions. 

Marshal Schreiber described the European Year of Skills as an "opportunity to empower people to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to help them be well prepared for the radical change our society is undergoing with the twin digital and green transition".

President of the ECR CoR Group, Marco Marsilio, featured as a panellist and reiterated the importance of a "socially just and fair transition for the EU's key automotive sector, which will undergo significant and rapid changes with the green transition". The Abruzzo President warned of a "nightmare scenario for the average European consumer" if the transition for the automotive regions is not implemented in a way that meets the legitimate expectations of citizens and companies in the sector.

Discussions also focused on the fact that although the "European Year of Skills" is a year long initiative, the issue of skills against the backdrop of the digital and green transition is likely to stay longer. In this regard, First Vice-President of the ECR CoR Group, Marshal Władysław Ortyl, evoked the idea of a skills-based macro-regional strategy and the "added value it could bring to cross-border cooperation in skills development".

The Vice-President of Castilla y León, Juan García-Gallardo, called for a smooth energy transition stating that we cannot afford to "sacrifice thousands of jobs in the name of the green agenda, which would hamper the economic activity of our regions".

Deputy Mayor of Veszprém, Barbara Hegedűs, emphasized the importance of "developing synergies between education and industry" in the framework of the European Year of Skills. In this regard,  she lamented the fact that the EU is "penalising our universities and  innovators by preventing them from accessing the HorizonEU and Erasmus+ funds".

The European Economic Forum has been organised periodically for many years by the Łódzkie region in Poland and has attracted a wide range of leaders from the business world, entrepreneurs, experts, and representatives of local and regional governments, for the opportunity to discuss the prospects for the hosting region, the economic development trends and challenges in Poland and, above all, the possibilities for international cooperation. 

Over the course of three days over 50 discussion panels took place with more than 1600 participants.