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Europe, Globalization and the Lisbon Agenda

Europe, Globalization and the Lisbon Agenda

Edited by Maria João Rodrigues

The Lisbon Agenda aims to prepare Europe for globalization by updating European policies for research, innovation, competition, trade, employment, education, social protection, environment and energy at both the European and national levels. Designed to inspire the new cycle of the Lisbon Agenda until 2010 and beyond, this timely and significant volume explores the intellectual elaboration of the agenda for the coming years.

Europe, Globalization and the Lisbon Agenda: An Introduction

Maria João Rodrigues

Subjects: innovation and technology, innovation policy, politics and public policy, european politics and policy


Maria João Rodrigues I.1 THE POINT OF DEPARTURE OF THE LISBON STRATEGY The Lisbon Strategy adopted by the European Council in 2000 was designed to address the following main question: is it possible to update Europe’s development strategy so that we can rise to the new challenges resulting from globalization, technological change and population ageing, while preserving European values? In the new emerging paradigm, knowledge and innovation are the main sources both of wealth and divergence between nations, companies and individuals. Europe has been losing ground to the United States, but this does not mean that Europe must follow that model. The purpose was to define a European path towards the new innovation and knowledge-based economy, taking advantage of distinctive attributes, including the preservation of social cohesion and cultural diversity as well as technological options. A critical step was the establishment of a competitive platform to sustain the European social model, which also had to be renewed. In order to fulfil this goal, institutional reforms were necessary to tap into the potential of this new paradigm while avoiding the risks of widening the social divide. These reforms included innovation of norms regulating international trade and competition, of social models, and of education systems. Moreover, institutional reforms had to internalize the level of integration in each Member State which had been accomplished through the single market and the single currency. This means that some level of European coordination was required to carry out institutional reforms, while respecting national...