Delegation in inconsistency: the Lisbon strategy record as an institutional failure
In this paper, we develop an analysis of the reasons for the apparent failure of the “Lisbon strategy” (2000) so far. After having made the general case for a comprehensive “institutionalist perspective” on the European economy, we first try to formalise the objectives of “Lisbon” in order to present a mid-term review of the results attained. Since we find, like many others, that too little has been achieved, we then offer some possible explanations. Apart from an inconsistency problem between the different objectives set, we argue that the major reason for this failure appears to lie in the contradiction between the EU macroeconomic policy framework, based on the logic of delegation of power and control to independent authorities with conservative objectives, and the proactive policies required by the “Lisbon strategy”, which objectives the EU member states eventually find themselves accountable for (not) achieving individually.
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