Chapter 9: The Lisbon Strategy: Merits, Difficulties and Possible Reforms
9. The Lisbon Strategy: merits, diﬃculties and possible reforms Robert Boyer 9.1 THE LISBON STRATEGY IN RETROSPECT Although short, the history of the strategy launched in Lisbon by the European Council in March 2000 may be usefully and brieﬂy revisited. The so-called Lisbon Strategy has three main components: ﬁrst, the goal is to promote growth and employment by maintaining a highly competitive European economy; second, it proposes an input, namely a coupling innovation with the preservation of social cohesiveness, as a compromise between market liberalization and a social democratic approach under the umbrella of a Schumpeterian vision of innovation; and third, it is a method, that is, the so-called open method of coordination (OMC), that was devised to overcome the present distribution of competences between Member States and Brussels, and to promote the structural reforms required to fulﬁl the Lisbon objectives at the national level. The origin of this institutional innovation was clearly associated with the tendency towards increasing divergence between the United States and Europe, and the emergence of new pressures on the European welfare state (ageing, obsolescence of worker competences and persisting mass unemployment). The collapse of the Internet bubble, the emergence of China and India as major players in the world economy, and recurring demands by citizens for more security and related pressure on the so-called ‘European social model’ suggest that the diagnosis of early 2000 is even more valid today than it was before. It is not surprising, then, that even the more...
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