IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can Europe Deliver Growth? The Sapir Report and Beyond


  • Jacques Pelkmans

    (Senior Research Fellow, CEPS (Brussels);Visiting Professor, College of Europe (Bruges))

  • Jean-Pierre Casey

    (Azurewealth, London; Visiting Professor, College of Europe, Bruges)


In this critical appraisal of the SAPIR report of July 2003, we choose not to focus on the economic analysis provided in the Sapir Report - where we largely agree - or the analysis of governance questions and design at the EU level. Rather, we concentrate on the assignment, orientation and policy recommendations of the Report with the following question in mind: to what extent does the Report help to revitalize the growth debate in Europe? Unfortunately, the focus of the Report’s recommendations is entirely on the EU level of policy and governance, whereas the motor of growth is very clearly being hindered at the Member State level. The present authors suggest that a number of coordination processes at the EU level are best regarded as ‘dangerous liaisons’which are not really goal-oriented but instead ingeniously seem to serve to protect the actors’ autonomously-decided positions. The Union is trapped in a low-growth equilibrium due to this deceptive construction and because in many policy areas relevant for growth, the EU cannot act without the explicit consent of the Member States, or it simply cannot act at all. Indeed, given the single market and EMU, Europe can only deliver growth at the Member States' level. We exemplify this point in a number of concrete policy areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacques Pelkmans & Jean-Pierre Casey, 2004. "Can Europe Deliver Growth? The Sapir Report and Beyond," Bruges European Economic Policy Briefings 6, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
  • Handle: RePEc:coe:wpbeep:6

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Growth Strategies," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 967-1014 Elsevier.
    2. Jacques Pelkmans & Jean-Pierre Casey, 2003. "EU Enlargement: External Economic Implications," Bruges European Economic Policy Briefings 4, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
    3. Jacques Pelkmans & Jean-Pierre Casey, 2003. "EU enlargement: External economic implications," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 38(4), pages 196-208, July.
    4. Boldrin, Michele & Canova, Fabio, 2003. "Regional Policies and EU Enlargement," CEPR Discussion Papers 3744, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1987. "Cost-Raising Strategies," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1), pages 19-34, September.
    6. Sjed Ederveen & Joeri Gorter & Ruud de Mooij & Richard Nahuis, 2003. "Funds and Games: The Economics of European Cohesion Policy," Occasional Papers 03, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
    7. Marcello M. Estevão & Nigar Nargis, 2002. "Wage Moderation in France," IMF Working Papers 02/151, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Annette Bongardt* & Francisco Torres**, 2007. "Institutions, Governance and Economic Growth in the EU: Is There a Role for the Lisbon Strategy?," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 42(1), pages 32-42, January.

    More about this item


    European integration; Growth; Sapir Report;

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P11 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:coe:wpbeep:6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jessie Moerman). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.