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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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Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2005-07.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0507
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  1. Sapir, Andre & Aghion, Philippe & Bertola, Giuseppe & Hellwig, Martin & Pisani-Ferry, Jean & Rosati, Dariusz & Vinals, Jose & Wallace, Helen, 2004. "An Agenda for a Growing Europe: The Sapir Report," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199271498.
  2. North, Douglass C., 1993. "Economic Performance through Time," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1993-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  5. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  6. Olivier Blanchard, 2004. "The Economic Future of Europe," NBER Working Papers 10310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Hélène Baudchon & Jérôme Creel & Jean-Luc Gaffard & Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux & Patrick Musso & Michel Aglietta & Vladimir Borgy & Jean Chateau & Michel Juillard & Gilles , 2005. "Potential Growth in the EU : Prospects from Technical Progress and Eastern Enlargment," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2500, Sciences Po.
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