During the Lub-Invest thematic area, we will try to sum up the achievements of the decade of the Eastern Partnership initiative, focusing on the economic effects: signing association agreements by three countries, introduction of deep free trade areas (DCFTA agreements) and visa-free regime with Ukraine and Moldova. We will focus on building relations with partners from behind the eastern border, opportunities to intensify trade, as well as support programmes for Polish entrepreneurs, which may be also attractive for foreign partners. We intend to consider what awaits Poland and our economy in the near future of several decades. The second day will be devoted to B2B talks, during which more than 40 representatives of companies and institutions from partner regions from Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries will be waiting for Polish entrepreneurs.
We encourage all entrepreneurs interested in establishing cooperation to participate in the Congress and to discuss the economic prospects for the development of Eastern European countries.

Partners: PARP, KUKE , PwC, BGK.


Equality does not mean identity, but the opportunity to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to meet their needs. In a society, even very unified at first glance, there are groups that need more support in order to be able to fully enjoy their rights and freedoms. That is why this year, within the equality thematic area, we will look at the practical implementation of equality towards several groups that are still quite often overlooked and marginalised: people with disabilities, sexual minorities (LGBTQ) and immigrants. The first debate will focus on people with disabilities and the implementation of the UN Convention on their rights. The third debate will concern the transforming neighborhood communities, whose members more and more often become immigrants coming to Polish cities with the intention of permanent settlement.
Partners: Stowarzyszenie Homo Faber, Lubelskie Forum Organizacji Osób Niepełnosprawnych - Sejmik Wojewódzki, Stowarzyszenie Marsz Równości


In the new Congress Space, we encourage you to share good practices and inspiring examples of cross-border cooperation. There will also be a place for reflection on the common Europe and changes taking place in neighbouring countries.
Partners: New Eastern Europe, Fundacja im. F. Eberta (Przedstawicielstwo w Polsce), Fundacja Aleksandra Kwaśniewskiego "Amicus Europae", Fundacja Rozwoju Demokracji Lokalnej.


Regional partnerships favour more integrated cooperation between many actors across national borders within a defined area. Such partnerships may concern different levels of management, administration and involve public, non-governmental and private sector bodies. There are many areas of regional cooperation across the EU with neighbouring third countries where cohesion policy funding can be used. This year we will again analyze the prospects for the EU enlargement to include new members - their real opportunities and hopes. We will reflect on the role of Voluntary Fire Brigades in ensuring security in Poland, Finland and Ukraine. How they arise, in what forms they associate, how they cooperate with local authorities in Poland, Ukraine and Finland. We will present the latest report of the Institute of Public Affairs on the situation of women dealing with foreign policy in Poland by Dr. Agnieszka Łada (one of the authors of the report).
Partners: Europejski Dom Spotkań - Fundacja Nowy Staw, Euroregion Bug, Fundacja im. H. Boella, Fundacja Rozwoju Demokracji Lokalnej


Eastern Europe. Transformation, integration, security in the context of the Eastern Partnership - the main theme of this year's thematic area.
Participants of the thematic area will analyze the process of change in the Eastern European countries in the context of transformation, integration and security. The region of Eastern Europe is area of rivalry between the West and Russia returning to the imperial policy of the former Soviet Union. The countries of Eastern Europe are currently facing the choice and implementation of the European or Eurasian model. Participants will evaluate the 10 years of functioning of the EU Eastern Partnership initiative and the Eurasian integration structures.
Partners: Centrum Europy Wschodniej, Wydział Politologii UMCS, Instytut Europy Środkowej, Instytut Nauk Politycznych i Spraw Międzynarodowych KUL, Stowarzyszenie Edukacji i Badań Międzynarodowych ERIA, Fundacja Konrada Adenauera w Polsce, Polskie Towarzystwo Studiów Europejskich o. Lublin, Polskie Towarzystwo Nauk Politycznych o. Lublin


Local democracy is a specific environment in which there can and should always be place for all kinds of social leaders, organised in political parties, administrative structures, NGOs and even informal groups. Polish experiences of authority system transformation indicate that the development of a given local community is directly correlated with the effectiveness of governance, and this again results from intersectoral cooperation and participatory management model. This means, first of all, the permanent inclusion of residents in the management process through various instruments that enable the real delegation of authorizations, that is the decentralization of authority. This year we will reflect on the role of local media in the democratisation processes and look at local democracy in the Western Balkans.
Partners: Fundacja Rozwoju Demokracji Lokalnej, International Cooperation Centre, Lublin Municipal Office, Stowarzyszenie Gazet Lokalnych, Inkubator Umowy Społecznej


The OECD seminar will include meetings of a group of Belarusian experts with representatives of local authorities, NGOs, academia and social economy enterprises in order to share Poland's experience in supporting social entrepreneurship.
Partners: OECD


This thematic area is dedicated mainly to the 450th anniversary of the Lublin Union and the 15th anniversary of Poland's accession to the European Union.
The debate "From the Lublin Union to the European Union" has a historical and social character and has been divided into two specialized parts - in the first part problems will be discussed, in the second part solutions and recommendations will be sought. As this year the Sejm of the Republic of Poland commemorated the 450th anniversary of the Lublin Union concluded in 1569 between Poland and Lithuania, 2019 was established by the Sejm as the Year of the Lublin Union. The debate aims to deepen the reflection on cultural heritage, analyze current challenges and seek to counteract the negative narration on mutual international relations by involving partners from Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia and the EU. Since there is little knowledge of the positive examples of Poland's cooperation with EaP countries, it is worth to focus on the implemention of projects that break negative prejudices. The more the latest social research conducted by the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CBOS), indicating a growing tendency of Poles' reluctance towards our eastern neighbours, is an alert. Without breaking these barriers, it is impossible to conduct a credible Eastern European policy. The invited guests will share their know-how on how to support dialogue between Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Russian societies, taking into account the experience of the Eastern Partnership (10th anniversary) and Poland's accession to the EU (15th anniversary).
Partner linii: Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych RP


Jerzy Ludwiński, an art theoretician whose life and early work were connected with Lublin, wrote in his essay “Art in the Postartistic Age”: “Perhaps, even today, we do not deal with art. We might have overlooked the moment when it transformed itself into something else, something which we cannot yet name. It is certain, however, that what we deal with offers greater possibilities”. We can treat this statement as the motto to numerous present-day artistic activities which embody one of the fundamental postulates of the twentieth-century avant-garde movements: merging of art and everyday life. Artists and curators increasingly engage in public debates, speak up on political issues, make efforts to secure the world from dangers such as racism, nationalism, fascism and neo-fascism, global warming or environmental pollution.

The conference entitled “How to Deal with a Shotgun That Backfires: Art in the Era of Post-truth, Conspiracy Theories and Negationism” deals with four topics that have a great impact on today’s politics, public debate and twenty-first-century social tensions: climate change, post-fascism, misogyny, and speciesism. It also dwells on the notion described by psychologists who study the processes of the formation of political views as a “backfire effect.” As shown in the studies published by, among others, Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler of the University of Michigan (When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperception), it is almost impossible to change a person’s worldview by confronting him or her with scientifically proven and experimentally verifiable facts, supported with rationally collected data such as statistics, photographic materials or documents. Moreover, when confronted with counterinformation, people who stick to a conspiracy theory are reinforced in their conviction that they are right. The consensus among psychologists is that a rational discussion can almost never change even the most unreasonable views. This also applies to highly dangerous views on race segregation, superiority of one sex over the other, violence towards other species, etc.
Each of the panel discussions/workshops proposed as part of the conference will become an attempt to face the mechanisms of dissemination of conspiracy theories, post-truth and the processes of repression (denialism) that accompany them. The role of chairs and moderators of the discussions and workshops will be performed by experts involved in political and environmental activism coupled with programme activities of contemporary art institutions.

Partners: Department of Culture, Lublin Municipal Office, Galeria Labirynt


The development of sustainable transport and urban mobility is a major challenge for local authorities in the context of increasing car traffic and related problems. Effective public transport management and support for cycling and pedestrian traffic, as well as the creation of friendly spaces without architectural barriers, make a modern city attractive for its inhabitants. External mobility is influenced by airports, which serve both tourism and migration traffic, but are also crucial for attracting large business external investors.
Partners: ZTM Lublin, WZR UML, Towarzystwo dla Natury i Człowieka


The discussion within the thematic area Central Europe will focus on two main issues: 1) European integration of the Central European countries and challenges related to the perspective of integration of the Western Balkan and Eastern European countries into the European Union and 2) challenges for the security of the Central and Eastern European area. An attempt will be made to present the international situation of Central and Eastern Europe (especially Ukraine) in the context of the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the armed conflict in Donbass and the reaction from Europe. On the one hand, there will be an emphasis on geopolitical issues, on the other, there will be an attempt to show the implications of Russia's actions on the security level – not only for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, but also for the countries of the post-Soviet area.
Partner: Instytut Europy Środkowej


This year's education and science thematic area will be devoted to the issue of education on local government both at university level and in general education and civic education programs. The panels will present both good practices in various university educational institutions and the main themes of the debate on the role of local governments in shaping and functioning of educational systems.
Partners: Centrum Europejskie UMCS, Wergeland Center, FRDL, Fundacja Sempre A Frente


The subject matter of the thematic area will be devoted to international cooperation in the tourism industry. During the discussion we will think about how to increase the range of events, how to use programs and projects to improve the quality of events, better promote the cities and the curiosities we have to offer. What is a barrier and what is the potential for development?
Partner: WT UML


This line will present initiatives related to cross-border cooperation in the field of environmental protection, we will consider the problem of population outflow to big cities, as well as lifelong education as an integral element of local development.
As part of partnership activities with non-governmental organizations from Belarus, Ukraine and Germany and national parks on the Ukrainian side, we will initiate a discussion on whether it is possible to establish a cross-border area in the Polesie from the UNESCO World Heritage List (as it is in Białowieża). We will indicate the possibilities of using the tourist and economic potential and closer cooperation of the Poleski and Shatsk National Parks and "Prypeć-Stochód" (on the Ukrainian side) and local self-governments.
Partners: Ogólnopolskie Towarzystwo Ochrony Ptaków o/Lublin, Syntea SA


This year, the first day's route is dedicated mainly to the 450th anniversary of the Union of Lublin and the 15th anniversary of Poland's accession to the European Union.
The debate "From the Union of Lublin to the European Union" is of historical and social character, it has been divided into two specialized parts - in the first there will be problems discussed, in the other solutions and recommendations will be sought. As this year, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland commemorated the 450th anniversary of the Lublin Union concluded between Poland and Lithuania in 1569, 2019 was established by the Sejm as the Year of the Union of Lublin. The debate aims to deepen the reflection on cultural heritage, analyze current challenges and seek to counteract the negating narrative about international relations through the inclusion of partners from Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia and the EU. Due to the limited knowledge about positive examples of Poland's cooperation with EaP countries, it is worth focusing on implementing projects that overcome negative prejudices. The more recent alert is the latest CBOS social surveys, indicating the tendency of growing reluctance of Poles to our eastern neighbors. Without breaking these barriers, it is impossible to conduct a credible Eastern European policy. Invited guests will share know-how on how to support dialogue between societies: Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian, taking into account experience from the Eastern Partnership (10th anniversary), Poland's accession to the EU (15th anniversary).
On the second day there will be three panels dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of Brest and the processes of shaping the Belarusian identity, the role of Ukraine in the EaP region five years after the events in Maidan and the difficult Polish-Jewish relations.

Partners: Grupa Mowa Żywa, Fundacja Teren Otwarty, Kultura Enter, Euroregion Bug, Homo Faber, Stowarzyszenie Współpracy Polska-Wschód

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