Europe, Globalization and the Lisbon Agenda
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Europe, Globalization and the Lisbon Agenda

Edited by Maria João Rodrigues

The Lisbon Agenda aims to prepare Europe for globalization by updating European policies for research, innovation, competition, trade, employment, education, social protection, environment and energy at both the European and national levels. Designed to inspire the new cycle of the Lisbon Agenda until 2010 and beyond, this timely and significant volume explores the intellectual elaboration of the agenda for the coming years.
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Chapter 14: The External Implications of the Lisbon Agenda

Bengt-Åke Lundvall


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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