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 20: Paving the Way for a Strategy of Sustainable Development

Iain Begg


Iain Begg Any assessment of the governance of the Lisbon Strategy since it was relaunched in 2005 (Lisbon II) has to start from the shortcomings of Lisbon I, as revealed notably by the Kok Report (European Commission, 2004). The Strategy was criticized for a lack of focus, for having too many targets, while also lacking credible commitments by Member States, and for being devoid of real policy instruments, including a budget. The governance of the ‘Lisbon process’ also has to contend with the parallel development of other processes, notably the European Union (EU) Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS), which has certain objectives in common with Lisbon, but also differing priorities that are not always wholly consistent with Lisbon. With climate change, the EU response to globalization, concern about global trends in energy supply, financial stability and the recent surge in food prices all competing for the attention of policy-makers, it has not been easy to ensure that there is coherence in the economic governance agenda. As Maria João Rodrigues notes in Chapter 18, governance has multiple dimensions in the context of the Lisbon Strategy (she lists ten distinct areas). In this chapter, the focus is on some of these areas, but also on aspects of governance that underpin or cut across some of these ten areas. In particular, the chapter discusses elements of the philosophy behind the Strategy and of the overall design of the strategic initiatives of the EU. It then discusses the merits of a Lisbon Strategy...

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