Wim Kok, former Prime Minister of The Netherlands presented the report of the High Level Group on the Lisbon strategy that he has chaired. The report, entitled "Facing the Challenge", concludes that the disappointing delivery of the strategy has been due primarily to a lack of determined political action. The agenda has been overloaded, coordination has been poor and there have been conflicting priorities. Facing the Challenge calls for determined action to be taken urgently across five key policy areas. For the knowledge society, the report formulates some key recommendations to increase Europe’s attractiveness for researchers and scientists, to make R & D a top priority and to promote the use of information and communication technologies.