At the 2000 Lisbon summit, the European Union formulated the ambition to transform itself into "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion'. It is remarkable that, until recently, European statisticians were hardly involved in the design of a statistical information system and related "structural' indicators for this important policy purpose. Instead, indicators have been designed that do not measure what they intend to measure, are based on incomparable data and give the impression of a fairly incoherent shopping list of numbers without an underlying vision on the use of these numbers in policy making. This paper argues that indicators can best be based on a coherent accounting system, such as the national accounts, and that the SESAME- system, which is an extension of national accounts and so-called Social Accounting Matrices, offers promising perspectives in this regard.

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