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The European Union’s failed “Lisbon strategy”


  • Arno Tausch

    () (Innsbruck University Political Science, Innsbruck, Austria)


Is Europe becoming the world’s leading knowledge-based economic area of the world, as European leaders planned at their Lisbon meeting in 2000? In this article, we analyze the Lisbon performance of the countries of the European Union from a long-term, structural perspective. We examine performance in the Lisbon indicators by factor analytical means. To measure progress, we observe contradictions between some of the indicators, chosen by the member governments and the European Commission. Finally, we conclude that only a Schumpeterian vision of capitalism as a process of “creative destruction,” or rather “destructive creation,” can explain these contradictions, which we empirically reveal in this analysis, and which beset the “Lisbon strategy” from the very beginning. European decision-makers often seem to be unaware of these underlying contradictions, which is why the goal of our paper is to clarify the processes involved. In Schumpeter’s elitist-conservative visions of society, the decay of values in the capitalist society was an all-important element in his pessimistic theory developed in “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy”. For Schumpeter the disappearance of the enterprising, male-dominated capitalist family was a critical element in his theory. But it is not the disappearance of the enterprising capitalist family that threatens the future of capitalism in Europe, but the often still existing incompatibility of work and family life, which explains more than 60% of the Lisbon process failure.

Suggested Citation

  • Arno Tausch, 2010. "The European Union’s failed “Lisbon strategy”," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 32(1), pages 103-121, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:32:y:2010:i:1:p:103-121
    Note: Opinions expressed in this contribution are exclusively those of the author in his capacity as adjunct professor. The author wishes to express his gratitude to Peter Herrmann and Gernot Kohler for their comments on the draft.

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    Cited by:

    1. Tausch, Arno, 2011. "The efficiency and effectiveness of social spending in the EU-27 and the OECD – a 2011 reanalysis," MPRA Paper 33516, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Magdalena Olczyk, 2014. "Structural Heterogeneity Between Eu 15 And 12 New Eu Members – The Obstacle To Lisbon Strategy Implementation?," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 9(4), pages 21-43, December.
    3. Magdalena Olczyk, 2013. "Lisbon Strategy implementation in 12 New EU Members – multivariate analysis of structural indicators," GUT FME Working Paper Series A 16, Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdansk University of Technology.
    4. Anne Drumaux & Paul Joyce, 2015. "Reinventing Public Governance in Europe: The Europe 2010 Strategy," Working Papers CEB 15-014, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Tausch, Arno, 2015. "Europe’s Refugee Crisis. Zur aktuellen politischen Ökonomie von Migration, Asyl und Integration in Europa
      [Europe's Refugee Crisis. On the current political economy of migration, asylum and integra
      ," MPRA Paper 67400, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    social spending; creative destruction; spatial models;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy


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