2004 Reaction to the Kok II Report "Facing The Challenge - The Lisbon Strategy for growth and employment"

The Kok II Report rightly stresses that the disappointing delivery of the European Union and, in particular of the EU Member States to the Lisbon Agenda is due to an overloaded agenda, poor coordination and conflicting priorities. Therefore, the second Kok report concentrates on measures to increase economic growth in the European Union which has become even more urgent because, since the Lisbon Agenda was formulated in March 2000, the general economic situation in the European Union has clearly deteriorated. Ceemet supports the idea of national action plans, although it is not convinced that the Commission's annual reports will have the desired impact.

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Ceemet key messages

  • Ceemet shares the view that priorities have to be identified within the topics covered by the overloaded Lisbon Agenda. It must be recognised that economic growth is the engine for achieving the other important goals of the Lisbon Agenda, namely social cohesion and sustainability. In the end, only competitive and profitable companies can continue to contribute to achieving this wider European agenda.
  • Ceemet is concerned that while Europe continues to discuss the Lisbon Agenda, our international competitors are actually moving ahead faster.
  • As a result, a real commitment is necessary from all stakeholders at the appropriate levels. As is stressed in the second Kok report, maintaining the "status quo" is not an option. In today's global economy, Europe has no choice but to radically improve its knowledge economy and underlying economic performance if it is to respond to the increasing challenges of Asia and the US.

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