News / News

The Areopagus of Universities debates will continue in 2022

Areopag Uniwersytetów - debata na Uniwersytecie WarszawskimThe Areopagus of Universities will be continued in a wider format, with the participation of additional universities - announced the rectors of the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL), the University of Warsaw (UW), the Jagiellonian University (UJ) and the Adam Mickiewicz University (UAM) during the debate devoted to economy, finance and management in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic - a meeting summarizing the first edition of the Areopagus. "Our meetings show that there is a need for a high-level dialogue" - emphasized the Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin, Rev. Prof. Mirosław Kalinowski.

The event, under the patronage of CRASP - the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland, was held on January 10 this year at the Kazimierzowski Palace at the University of Warsaw.

“Most of us saw the need for these meetings and most of us also realized that we represent communities that can discuss with each other at a high level. However, everyday life makes us tired of ordinary problems and we do not always see the value of the scientific community in Poland” - emphasized Rev. Prof. Kalinowski while thanking the authorities of other universities for taking up and supporting The Areopagus of Universities, debates of which help to better understand the challenges of the present day.

He added that the expectation of organizing such debates was expressed not only by the scientific community, but also by the Polish society.

The topic of the fourth meeting of the Areopagus of Universities were the economic problems that the whole world, including Poland, has been struggling with since the beginning of the pandemic. Its participants - scientists from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, the University of Warsaw, the Jagiellonian University and the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań, agreed that the coronavirus epidemic became one of the most important factors that change socio-economic life in the first decades of the 21st century.

Macroeconomic consequences of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic were presented by Prof. Marian Żukowski who heads the Department of Economic Policy and Banking at the Institute of Economics and Finance of the Catholic University of Lublin. "This crisis is a war in which the pandemic attacked both the society and the economy at the same time," said Prof. Żukowski and reminded that because of this, GDP in 2020 dropped by 2.7 percent in Poland, in addition, among other things, investments were reduced by 5 percent in general, although they increased in health care.

The KUL expert pointed out that the economic difficulties occur mainly in the tourism, hotel, catering and transport sectors, while not in the sector related to e.g. new technologies. "Some economic sectors are growing, especially e-business. We are also witnessing a certain revolution in the provision of work. Today, about five percent of the population works online, which was unimaginable just two years ago" said Prof. Żukowski. He considered the shifting of the effects of fighting the pandemic onto the next generations as a disturbing phenomenon. "We finance current needs with debt" - he explained, reporting that the public debt currently amounts to approximately PLN 1.4 trillion, which is 55 percent of annual GDP (with a constitutional limit of 60 percent). Some countries, although they have higher debt, at the same time - as the economist from the Catholic University of Lublin pointed out - have higher GDP.

Prof. Żukowski also reminded that the recovery from the crisis could be much easier with the support of the European Union. Under the Reconstruction Fund, Poland will receive PLN 650 billion in subsidies and PLN 150 billion in loans. He added that the issue of Poland adopting the euro currency remains an open question. In July 2021, 51 percent of Poles (based on a Eurobarometer poll) were in favor of adopting the euro. It is worth emphasizing that as many as 79 percent of the euro area inhabitants are satisfied with the European currency.

The debate, which is available in its entirety on the University of Warsaw YouTube channel, was also attended by Grzegorz Tchorek, PhD, from the University of Warsaw, who presented, inter alia, the situation on the financial markets during the pandemic, Prof. Lucyna Błażejczyk-Majka from the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań, who discussed, inter alia, the processes of globalization and deglobalization, and Prof. Wojciech Czakon from Jagiellonian University, who touched upon, inter alia, the impact of the crisis on organizational management and social attitudes.

The main idea of the Areopagus of Universities is to conduct a public debate on the challenges of the present day in the university environment. During the meeting, the rectors (apart from the Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin, Rev. Prof. Mirosław Kalinowski, were present: the Rector of the University of Warsaw, Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak, the Rector of the Jagiellonian University, Prof. Jacek Popiel and the Rector of the Adam Mickiewicz University, Prof. Bogumiła Kaniewska), experts, scientists and students have the opportunity to discuss the changing world during a pandemic.

The series of debates is an initiative of the academic community of four universities - John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Warsaw University, Jagiellonian University and Adam Mickiewicz University. So far, experts have discussed issues related to the system of values during the pandemic (October 18, 2021 at the Catholic University of Lublin), ethical limits of medicine (November 8 at the Jagiellonian University) and social relations (December 6 at the Adam Mickiewicz University).