Sunday 18 April 2021
Sunday 18 April 2021

Presentation at the UNICE Council of Presidents by Ulysses Kyriacopoulos, President of FGI and UNICE VP, Hague, November 26th 2004

01 December 2004

The Wim Kok report has confirmed what we all know:  that the Lisbon agenda is not being implemented as agreed and unless we accelerate adoption of agreed legislation in the member countries and reforms at European and national level we will not close the competitiveness gap with N. America and Japan and we want achieve our goals of sustainability, social cohesion and of full employment. The system is not delivering results.  The report correctly ascribes the responsibility for the shortcoming primarily to national governments and national societies characterized by change aversion, in an age in which we all agree that change is what we need. 

It is very fortunate that our societies have invested great efforts and resources in securing quality for the environment, quality of life and have developed a social model of cohesion.  As a result, Europe is still distinguished as a paradigm of modern civilization all over the world.

The integration of the European world has created ample new space for growth and development.  However we all recognize that our previous governance model has reached its limits. As business people we know well that we need to refocus our efforts and make the necessary adaptations and improvements.  I strongly believe that we can still honour our social model, care for the environment, improve and maintain high quality of life.  Our difficulties today stem from our successes in the past. European citizens can only continue to enjoy those major past achievements in the future, if we all start acting differently from now on. I think every body in this room will agree of the need to reset our priorities, to renew our commitment in achieving the Lisbon goals, to do our outmost to accelerate the reform process in our home countries and in the Union.

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