Social partners to scrutinise national Lisbon action plans

A European Area of Knowledge, national programmes to boost knowledge and a Charter of Life Long Learning are some of the main ideas of an opinion adopted by the European Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC).

At the request of the upcoming Austrian Presidency, the European Economic and Social Committee produced an opinion on the road towards the knowledge-based society. The three rapporteurs (Mr Olsson, Sweden, Mrs Belabed, Austria and Mr Van Iersel, Netherlands) underlined in their report the need to connect the so-called Lisbon agenda for growth and jobs better with the citizens. The committee puts a strong emphasis on the development of a European Area of Knowledge based on clearly defined targets, benchmarks, timetables and responsibilities.

During a press breakfast, the rapporteurs also announced that the national tripartite economic and social committees will undertake a close scrutiny of the national Lisbon action plans. Three weeks (9-10 March) before the Spring 2006 Summit of EU leaders, the EESC and its national partners will organise a conference in Budapest to evaluate the measures proposed by the governments. Mr Van Iersel stated that the social partners will not shy away from “naming and shaming” the worst pupils in the class in that exercise.

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