The government has prepared a draft on the Fund for the Transformation of Silesia

The bill establishing the Silesian Transformation Fund appeared on the website of the Government Legislation Center. The fund prepared by the Ministry of Development and Technology is to implement the provisions of the 2021 Social Accord on the transformation of the mining sector and selected processes in the region.

As stated in the justification of the project, its context is the ongoing process of eradicating coal mining and the need to use the existing potential and resources for the sustainable development of the Voivodeship. Silesian.

The justification also recalls that the creation of a special Fund for the Transformation of Silesia was established in the social agreement of May 28, 2021 on the transformation of the mining sector and selected transformation processes in the province. Silesian. At the time, it was believed that the aim of the Fund would be to coordinate the transformation of post-mining, industrial and post-industrial areas with the transformation of the region itself.

“The aim of the draft law on the Silesia Transformation Fund is to define the public mission of the entity that will create mechanisms and participate in the transformation processes in Śląskie Voivodeship, mainly by creating and implementing support instruments aimed at a broad range of beneficiaries” – it was stated in the justification.

In accordance with the terms of the social contract, the fund will operate in the form of a public limited company established in Katowice, performing a public mission. The project provides for two fundamental public tasks: to support the transformation process of Śląski Voivodeship and support entities (including natural and legal persons) to counteract the negative effects of phasing out business activities, including coal mining.

The justification states that due to the transformation of the Voivodeship. Silesia means activities aimed at changing the structure of the economy of the region, including the management of sectors with no growth potential, and activities aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the economy, using existing potential and resources.

The Fund will be able to carry out public tasks entrusted to it on the basis of contracts or agreements concluded with public authorities, other entities performing public functions or local authorities. In addition, the Council of Ministers can entrust him with the implementation of the government program for providing financial support to entrepreneurs.

“The broadly defined catalog and form of the Fund’s operation is to ensure flexible, proportionate and appropriate to the needs of designing individualized tools for carrying out the Fund’s tasks” – stated in the justification.

The document defining the objectives of the fund and the instruments for its implementation should be the strategy of the Silesian Transformation Fund, including, inter alia, conclusions from the analysis and diagnosis of the market situation, the detailed scope and manner of carrying out the tasks of the the fund over a period of at least five years and the sources of funding for the fund’s tasks. An evaluation of the strategy takes place annually.

The project assumes that the main solutions for the financing of entrepreneurs by the fund are the so-called capital forms (forms of investment by entrepreneurs by taking up shares or shares issued by them, subscription guarantees or participation as a partner in companies formed in the form of partnerships operate), as well as other forms: bond purchases, lending, guarantees and securities. In addition, the fund will be given the right to support entrepreneurs and natural persons, including in non-returnable forms.

The fund will not engage in venture capital projects aimed at achieving a market return on invested capital over the long term.

The fund should work for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Silesian Voivodeship, including in the field of promotion and education, health prophylaxis. Supplementary forms are non-capital forms, ie economic, cultural or tourist promotion of the region.

The social contract signed last year on May 28 defines the rules and pace for extinguishing Polish coal (energy) mines by 2049. The document includes: employment guarantees and social protection for miners and allows ( already implemented) budgetary subsidies to reduce production capacity. Auxiliary solutions – which have already been transferred to the amended Mining Act and implemented – now require notification to the European Commission.

On Monday evening, a meeting of mining unions with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on the implementation of the social contract took place in the Silesian Voivodeship Bureau. Unions believe that the contract is not being implemented and should be amended. In a July 12 letter, the social side asked for an “immediate” meeting with the head of government.

In this speech, trade unions indicated the main provisions of the contract, which in their view are not being implemented, eg investments in modern coal technologies or the ongoing process of contract notification to the European Commission. Due to the changed internal and international circumstances, they also considered it necessary to adapt many elements of the agreement to the new reality, in particular with regard to increasing coal mining and expanding mine exploitation.

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