Chapter 14: The External Implications of the Lisbon Agenda
Bengt-Åke Lundvall 14.1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter, I argue that an external European strategy needs to be designed in such a way that it takes into account diﬀerences among Member States in terms of both economic structure and national political culture. At ﬁrst glance, this suggests a minimalist foreign policy, but in fact the opposite is required. Taking the Lisbon Agenda as a platform and reference point helps us to understand why a comprehensive strategy of external strategic partnerships is not only a realistic but also a necessary option for Europe. I also argue that while the most important and original element of the Lisbon Agenda was the new vision that sees knowledge as the most important source of growth, the full implications of that vision have yet to be worked out. A more balanced perspective, in which the importance of tacit and experience-based knowledge and the importance of transforming Europe into a learning economy are recognized, would both reinforce the Lisbon Agenda and make it a more adequate platform for external strategic alliances. 14.2 EUROPE’S ROLE IN THE GLOBAL ARENA For several decades, Europe has been busy establishing the single market and its internal institutions. The original Lisbon Agenda paid little attention to external strategy. The relationship with the rest of the world was deﬁned mainly through the goal of becoming ‘the most competitive region of the world’, and the original version of the Lisbon Agenda reﬂected a certain European envy of the ﬂexible US...
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