April 28 2004
European economic summit discusses effects of EU enlargement
WARSAW, April 28 (Itar-Tass) – The European economic summit 2004,
organized in Davos by the World Economic Forum as its regional
gathering, has opened in Warsaw.
The summit with the motto `Europe – Enlargement and Beyond’ is
devoted to the current challenges that the European Union faces:
economic, political, constitutional and cultural that will result
from the enlargement of the Union on May 1, when ten Central and East
European countries are to become its members.
Around 700 participants, representing the economic and political
elites of 45 nations, including the presidents, premiers and
ministers from 31 countries, are to hold 40 roundtable discussions,
plenary sessions and workshops that will center around the impact of
an expanded union on the European business and its competitiveness,
enlargement of Europe’s single currency zone, new demands of European
consumers, the development of financial markets and transatlantic
The Wednesday plenary session is dealing with `Europe: Hopes and
Concerns’. As regards the roundtable discussions, they will focus on
relations between Europe and Russia, the developments in the
Caucasus, South-East Europe and Turkey.
Russia has delegated to the summit President Vladimir Putin’s special
spokesman on the development of relations with the European Union
Sergey Yastrzhembsky and a group of politicians and business leaders.
President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Premier Leszek Miller, Foreign
Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz and Minister of the economy, labor
and social policy Jerzy Hausner represent Poland.
Some other high-rank participants are Azerbaijani President Ilham
Aliyev, Malta’s Prime Minister Tonio Berg, Lithuanian Prime Minister
Algirdas Brazauskas, Romanian President Ion Iliescu, Armenian
President Robert Kocharian, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma,
President Svetozar Marovic of Serbia and Montenegro, German President
Johannes Rau, Georgian President Mikhai Saakashvili, Slovak President
Rudolf Schuster, and Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin.
An alternative economic forum is planned at the time of the European
Economic Summit to discuss the negative impact of transnational
corporations on the world community, global environment and national
cultures. Polish anarchists, green movement activists and radical
youth organizations are expected to take part in the alternative
events along with Polish alterglobalists who will criticize current
economic trends and propose radical alternatives to them.
The protesters are acting beyond the boundaries of the security zone
around the building in which the European Economic Summit is working.
Their main demonstration calling for an end to globalization of
exploitation, poverty and war is scheduled for Thursday, April 29,
and although its organizers declare that the action will be peaceful,
police prepares tough security measures. Armored vehicle-mounted
water canons have already been placed at the Sofitel Victoria Hotel.
No excesses have been registered so far, a Warsaw police source said.
But the center of Warsaw is unusually quiet and empty. The shutters
are down in the windows of shops and cafes, as well as of ground
floor and first-floor apartments, in central Warsaw.