Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lisbon objectives at stake in the Netherlands?

The main objective of the Lisbon agenda is to achieve a EU as 'the most dynamic and competitive knowledge based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, and respect for the environment'. This process should be concluded by 2010. The question is, however, will me manage? Former Dutch prime-minister Kok questioned the achievement of the Lisbon agenda during a speech he gave in 2004. We were already behind schedule. On a government level the issue of becoming a knowledge based economy is a key issue in the politics of D66. In the past four years they have succeeded to claim extra funding for (higher) education. We are two months away from new elections. The forecast at this moment tells that D66 may be reduced to one representative in the house of parliament. It's not likely that they will become part of the new Dutch cabinet, which brings up the question to what extent the Lisbon agenda will remain on the agenda. In their election programs other parties also claim to increase investments in education, but the question is whether or not this will be the case once they have been elected. We may prevent this from happening or at least try to reduce the negative impact by electing D66, hoping that they will stay strong enough to keep asking attention for the knowledge based economy.

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