From Government to Governance
Chapter 1: Analysing the Innovation Policy of the European Union
18223_Innovation/Chap 1 09/06/2003 9:42 am Page 1 1. Analysing the innovation policy of the European Union Technology works in Europe as a double engine: an engine for growth and an engine for integration. John Peterson and Margaret Sharp (1998), Technology Policy in the European Union. London, Macmillan. INTRODUCTION This book postulates that the transition from ‘technology policy’ to ‘innovation policy’ for the EU in the mid-1990s did not just mean an expansion of the number of issues under the new agenda; more importantly, it started to unleash a reorganization of policy-making at EU level. This was a transition from a mode of policy-making that was functionally compartmentalized, hierarchically managed and had limited accountability, to a new, emerging, mode of ‘governance’ where the areas are gradually becoming explicitly interconnected, there is no obvious hierarchy, there are substantial pressures to enhance transparency and participation, and public action is increasingly self-reflexive. In other words, the ‘contents’ of innovation policy are changing as much as the ‘form’ of conducting public action, and both ‘contents’ and ‘form’ are the cornerstones of a public action that is increasingly becoming a centrepiece of EU politics. Innovation policy, as the means of encouraging technical progress and sustainable socioeconomic growth, has been recently upgraded from a rather obscure position amid the host of EU policies to an increasingly strategic status within the EU. Competitiveness, growth, job creation and social progress are nowadays key elements in the EU’s own ‘raison d’être’, and innovation policy has a lot...
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