European Science and Technology Policy
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European Science and Technology Policy

Towards Integration or Fragmentation?

Edited by Henri Delanghe, Ugur Muldur and Luc Soete

This innovative book focuses on the most important concept underpinning current European Union research policy. It describes the history and concept of the European Research Area (ERA), analyses some of the underlying assumptions, assesses some of its achievements, and takes a brief look at its future.
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Chapter 16: The European Research Area as Industrial Policy Tool

Luc Soete


Luc Soete 1 INTRODUCTION With hindsight, the Lisbon Summit, with its launch of the notion of a European Research Area (ERA), can be viewed as a major EU attempt at formulating a set of combined European and national Member State policy priorities aimed at bringing about more European growth dynamics ranging from social and macroeconomic policies to industrial, domestic European research and information technology policies. In many ways, the Lisbon Summit represented a final 20th century – taking 2000 as the last year of the 20th century – primarily inward-looking attempt at setting out for the next century the European industrial dream of becoming by 2010 the most competitive region in the world: the crowning, but also the coming to an end, of 50 years of European integration. That process of economic integration, we argue in this chapter in line with the analysis presented in Part I, can be viewed as one characterized primarily by the success and failure of various forms of European industrial policy. Industrial policy addressed what was perceived after World War II as Western and Eastern Europe’s central problem compared with the US or the Soviet Union, namely that of scale (see also Chapter 8): scale in production, as in the case of the European Coal and Steel Community, or in agriculture, as in the case of the Community Agricultural Policy. Later on, with the Delors initiative on the Single Market, it shifted to concerns about scale in trade integration and harmonization amongst the Member States of an...

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