Chapter 8: The European Lisbon Agenda and National Diversity: Key Issues for Policy-Making
Maria João Rodrigues After the 2005 mid-term review, the Lisbon Strategy was translated into national reform programmes by all the Member States of the European Union (EU). There are assessments of some of these programmes available (see European Commission, 2006, for instance), but more in-depth analysis is still lacking. When undertaking such an analysis, it is necessary to consider the variety of capitalist economies coexisting within the EU. Some of the questions we must answer are: to what extent can a common European agenda for structural reforms be implemented at the national level, and adapted to speciﬁc national conditions? Should the Lisbon Strategy be a ‘meta-reference’ for minimal convergence and cross-fertilization between diﬀerent types of capitalism? If so, which are the critical points for a transition in each type of capitalism? Before addressing these intriguing issues, let us recall brieﬂy the state of play with the Lisbon Strategy since the mid-term review of 2005. 8.1 THE LISBON STRATEGY AFTER THE MIDTERM REVIEW The Lisbon Strategy launched by the European Council of March 2000 is a European development strategy to confront the new challenges posed by globalization, population ageing and the increasingly fast pace of technological change. At its core is the recognition that to sustain the European social model it is necessary to renew it as well as its economic foundations by focusing on knowledge and innovation. Indeed, this should be the main purpose of an agenda for structural reforms. The Strategy should also comply with...
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