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On the Roles and Rationales of European STI Policies

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Author Info

  • Rahel Falk
  • Werner Hölzl

    (WIFO)

  • Hannes Leo

    (WIFO)

Abstract

EU enlargement has increased the diversity of the European Union in a substantial way, in particular with respect to its capacities in the fields of science, technology and innovation (STI). The shares of both gross and business sector expenditures on R&D in GDP are increasingly diverging following EU enlargement, pointing at quite different levels of technological opportunities and absorptive capacity. Against this background, this paper tries to disentangle the rationales for STI policies at an EU level. Starting from the different policy rationales we assign different STI policy fields to levels of governance. Our discussion suggests that the European Union plays two quite distinct roles in EU STI policy. The first role is closely related to the assignment of policy competences and establishes the fields where the EU should act as policy maker and programme owner. But this alone is likely to be insufficient when it comes to managing and coordination of complex horizontal policy fields such as STI policy. Here the second role of the European Commission comes into its own. This second role is not related to policy making but to the "right" to fuel discussions to find coordinated solutions. This role is essentially political and relates to the job to stimulate activities in areas where the Commission has no mandate (due to missing clear rationales) to act alone.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 299.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 13 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2007:i:299

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Keywords: EU enlargement; science; technology and innovation (STI); policy rationales; subsidiarity; policy competences; coordination; horizontal policy fields;

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  1. Wolfgang Keller, 2001. "International Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 8573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2002. "What Does the European Union Do?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Albert van der Horst & Arjan Lejour & Bas Straathof, 2006. "Innovation policy; Europe or the member states?," CPB Document 132, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Karen Helene Midelfart-Knarvik & Henry G. Overman, 2002. "Delocation and European integration: is structural spending justified?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 321-359, October.
  5. Laura Thissen & Sjef Ederveen, 2006. "Higher education; time for coordination on a European level?," CPB Discussion Paper 68, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  6. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  7. Alessandra Casella, 2002. "Redistribution policy: A European model," Discussion Papers 0203-06, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  8. Nick von Tunzelmann & Sussan Nassehi, 2004. "Technology policy, European Union enlargement, and economic, social and political sustainability," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(6), pages 475-483, December.
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