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The New Knowledge Economy in Europe

A Strategy for International Competitiveness and Social Cohesion

Edited by Maria João Rodrigues

Knowledge is fast becoming one of the main sources of wealth, yet it can also become a source of inequalities. The New Knowledge Economy in Europe attempts to determine whether it is possible to hasten the transition towards a knowledge-based economy and enhance competitiveness with increased employment and improved social cohesion across Europe. The book is an amalgamation of the scientific and political agendas which led to the European strategy for the knowledge-based economy adopted by the European Union.
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Chapter 1: Introduction: For a European Strategy at the Turn of the Century

Maria João Rodrigues


Maria João Rodrigues At the turn of the century, we must think in the long term. With this endeavour, the Presidency of the European Union organised a special interaction between the scientific and the political agenda. The purpose of this introduction is to reveal how this cross fertilisation was developed, leading to a new European strategy which aims to build a knowledge-based economy with more competitiveness and social cohesion. The main political dilemmas, the main theoretical issues, the new proposals and, finally, the political outcomes will be presented, providing a preliminary framework to highlight the following chapters. 1. EUROPEAN DILEMMAS 1.1. What scenarios for Europe? Europe is facing a crucial period in its history. All the main issues of European civilisation are at stake and very contrasting scenarios are possible as shown in a wide range of literature (Delors, 1992; Wallace, 1990; Jacquemin and Wright, 1993; McRae, 1994; Bressard, 1997; Telò, 1998 and Fitoussi, 1999). There is a bifurcation in each of the main factors shaping the European scenarios: G G G G In the international order, will we have a lasting American leadership or a more multipolar structure? In enlargement, will we have a slower or a faster pace? In the institutional reform, will we have a more confederal or a more federal evolution? In the creation of a single currency, will we have more or less credibility in the financial markets? 1 2 G G G G The New Knowledge Economy in Europe In the specialisation...

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