Chapter 7: Developing the Lisbon Agenda at the European Level: Conclusions of the Debate
Maria João Rodrigues 7.1 EUROPE IN A GLOBALIZED KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY: THE WAY FORWARD The point of departure for strategic thinking on Europe should always be the ‘globalized’ world. More particularly, when reconsidering the Lisbon Agenda, we should take into account that the global process of knowledge accumulation and diﬀusion is speeding up because of increasing investments in research, innovation and education, and because of the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT). The organization of the global production chains led by multinational companies, and competition among countries to attract international investment, are deeply restructuring this process. Silicon Valley may be unique, but innovation poles that are attempting to replicate that model are emerging all over the world. More speciﬁcally, the emergence of large-scale competitors, such as China and India, is dramatically changing the global landscape. In this new context, the key questions for Europe seem to be the following. How can the multiplication of knowledge-intensive economies lead to a win–win game? How can European companies develop at the global level? And how can Europe remain attractive for worldwide investment? Before addressing these questions, we should assess Europe’s mediumterm comparative advantages. Market size, research capabilities and education levels will remain important but no longer distinctive European features. Rather, Europe’s distinctive advantages may be quality of life, consumer sophistication, the creativity of workers, the ability to oﬀer sophisticated services and production systems, the quality of public services, the environmental balance, the single currency and political capability to...
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