A Strategy for International Competitiveness and Social Cohesion
Edited by Maria João Rodrigues
Chapter 5: Institutional reforms for growth, employment and social cohesion: elements of a European and national agenda
5. Institutional reforms for growth, employment and social cohesion: elements of a European and national agenda Robert Boyer The diﬃculty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify (. . .) into every corner of our minds. John Maynard Keynes, December 13, 1935. The outstanding faults of the economic society in which we live, are its failure to provide for full-employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes. John Maynard Keynes, General Theory, Chapter 24, 1936. 1. INTRODUCTION: IN RESPONSE TO THE PRESENT DECADE’S CHALLENGES, IT IS TIME TO REFORM The recovery of the EU economy has brought a lot of optimism to European business and consumers. Hasn’t GDP growth gone up from 1.5 per cent during the period 1991–6 to 2.7 per cent during the following years (1997–2000). Is the European sclerosis over, since the national and European institutions are now in line with the requirements of global ﬁnance? This chapter proposes a balanced view: many reforms have already been done, but they are quite unequal across the ﬁfteen member states and in any case new challenges are to be met during the coming years. It argues that since the 1990s the Europeans are living a brand new period that deserves careful and new analyses. Thus, most of the items on the political agenda should be re-assessed and probably redesigned according to three major concerns. The turning point of the 1990s has pointed out some recurring weaknesses of Europe....
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