Former Swedish Finance Minister Pär Nuder was in London today, taking part alongside former British Cabinet minister David Blunkett in a Fabian seminar on educational opportunity and lifelong learning which forms part of a series of events across Europe.
In his opening remarks, Nuder also reflected on the impact of the current economic climate on the social agenda, offering the gloomy perspective that "the worst is yet to come" when it comes to the impact of the recession on jobs in Europe.
Nuder noted that this perspective contrasted with the view the top end of the financial markets, having just returned from New York where he was told that "the recession is over" by a leading New York financier, on the grounds that the most expensive Manhattan restaurants were now full again, having bounced back strongly over the last six months.
Nuder's concern with the impact on jobs and unemployment makes him a strong advocate of the necessity of strong coordinated stimulus programmes by the major economies.
The seminar on lifelong learning discussed the Education Society 2.0 report of Finland's Kalevi Sorsa Foundation, with Professor Ari Antikainen outlining the research findings, with responses from David Blunkett MP and Peter Jarvis of the University of Surrey, and Louise Bamfield chairing. A full report will be published on the Fabian website.
This formed part of a series of events on educational opportunity and inequalities, held by domestic think-tanks in six different EU countries, coordinated by FEPS, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies.