A Strategy for International Competitiveness and Social Cohesion
Edited by Maria João Rodrigues
Chapter 1: Introduction: For a European Strategy at the Turn of the Century
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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