A New Deal for the Lisbon Strategy

Whatever happened to the European Union’s Lisbon Strategy? Not only is the public almost entirely ignorant of the EU’s policy agenda for boosting competitiveness, economic growth, and employment, but this ignorance extends to many intellectuals, academics, CEO’s, and even some MP’s.

For example, in all of the debates on the EU’s constitutional treaty, neither its supporters nor its opponents have so much as mentioned the Lisbon Strategy. It is little wonder, then, that Euroskepticism – in France, the Netherlands, and elsewhere – is on the rise.

Despite the success and popularity of programs like ERASMUS, citizens don’t perceive the EU’s contribution to superior education or training. Indeed, the last Eurobarometer survey on the Lisbon Strategy found that the European public sees little relation between EU policies and economic competitiveness.

Of course, some laboratories receive EU grants, but without recognizing a specific European mission in research policies. Europe is generally considered more a constraint than as a plan, more as an instrument than a vision nourished by a clear and credible idea.