Communiqué June 2006

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Director’s diary

Foundation Forum 2006

Over the last five years, European governments and social partners have made significant efforts to make Europe the world’s most competitive, knowledge-based economy. But what are the obstacles that are still in the way? Are businesses so paralysed by red tape and regulations that they cannot reach their full potential? Or is it that governments have failed to act, perceiving the necessary reforms as potentially unpopular with their electorates?

Over 2–3 November of this year, the third Foundation Forum will address these issues and dilemmas, looking at ways of simultaneously increasing competitiveness and reforming the European social model. The Foundation has established this biennial event as an arena for Europe’s political leaders, social partner representatives, business leaders and academics to engage in open debate. One of the Forum’s distinctive – and successful – features is the lack of division between speakers and listeners: all participants are expected to engage in the debate.

During June, the Foundation will be active both with its own work and contributing to external events. This month, preparations will be completed for the Foundation’s programme of work for 2007. At the end of June and at the beginning of July, the annual group meetings of representatives from government, employer organisations and trade unions will take place in the Foundation’s premises in Dublin. And Foundation experts will contribute to a conference on Young and old in a changing Europe: The demographic challenge for social care and health, organised by the European Social Network under the auspices of the Austrian EU Presidency, on 19–21 June, in Vienna.

Jorma Karppinen

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