This paper points out that education should be the central objective of the post-2010 Lisbon Process. Compared to other OECD countries, the member states of the European Union perform poorly when it comes to key indicators of innovative potential, such as the percentage of students enrolled in tertiary education and the educational quality of Europe’s students. Education makes a three-fold contribution to a country’s economic health. First it is beneficial for employment rates, second it is a key driver for long-term economic growth and third it appears to be beneficial for social cohesion. It will be crucial for European countries to attain higher levels of tertiary education and increase the quality of their education.