06 Jul 2007

Lisbon II, Two Years on: An Assessment of the Partnership for Growth and Jobs

Iain Begg

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The re-launch of the Lisbon strategy in March 2005 was meant to inject a new momentum into what is now known as the Partnership for Growth and Jobs, and to highlight the challenges that Europe faces in responding to globalisation. More than two years on, it has become clear that most member states fully understand the need to adapt their economies and have shown a growing willingness to embrace economic reform. However, countries continue to differ markedly in their enthusiasm for reform and it is far from clear that ‘Lisbon’ can take much credit for the recent economic upturn. This report offers an assessment of the progress of the Partnership for Growth and Jobs during the 2006-07 cycle. It shows that in some respects real advances have been made, and concludes that the strategy has become more coherent and effective than in the five years after 2000. Nevertheless, the governance of economic reform remains problematic and the report highlights a range of shortcomings that warrant attention. Discussions have already started on how to revise the ‘Lisbon’ Integrated Guidelines for the next phase, from 2008-11, and this report aims to nourish the debate.

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