The Financial Times reports today that the team lead by Wim Kok, set up after the March economics summit, and charged with carrying out a review of the Lisbon process, is likely to find that we are badly behind schedule. This is hardly surprising since the Lisbon agenda was rather stronger on rhetorical nicety (including the now famous objective of turning Europe into the ?most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world? by 2010) and rather weaker on concrete policies and objectives.
No this is not (yet) the title of one of my new pages (although we were looking into living in sin, but unfortunately it’s already taken). No the denial I am referring to is much nearer home for most of us, since it is up there in Brussels. “European Union nations are dragging their heels in their ambitious drive to become the world’s most competitive economy by the end of the decade” or so we are lead to believe from the EU annual survey published by the Commission on Wednesday.
This foolish piece of what the Spanish would call ‘chuleria’ (no easy translation but I suppose you could try vain self-important show-off bragging) – the pledge to overtake the US by 2010 – was adopted at the Lisbon 2000 summit. It was madness in its moment, now it looks just plain ridiculous. Continue reading →