January 26, 2005

Lisbon agenda back on the agenda

The dead Lisbon agenda to turn the EU into a larger economy than the USA by by 2010, which everyone acknowleges will not happen, is being kicked into some kind of stumbling movement as the fact of Eurolands stagnation continues to bite.From the times:
"Government’s red-tape czar yesterday called on the European Union to improve its business regulation or face long-term economic decline"

But the course that it is likely to take is the promotion of
big business as Messiah, there are rangles about the exact form this will take with the French idea of 'National Champions', aided by subsidy, or the commisions more modest ideas of simply being friendlier to mergers and subsidising teh research and development costs of big business. Which of course would require even more bureaucrats, or as EU Referendum puts it:
"Regulation is not primarily a matter of procedures but of attitude and culture. The EU commission regulates in the way it does because that is the only way it knows. It is incapable of doing it any other way. "

The idea that they seem to have missed is simply to regulate less and allow people to do what they do best and try and improve their own lives. Most of all economies are not big business but the small and medium sized businesses that get hit hardest by excessive regulation, they are also the firms that would not be able to access the grants for R&D funding. This is also the sector that has the most potential for growth, simply look at the low cost airline industry. The innovation and sucsess there is increadible, but it was not created by the big 'national champions' such as Air France, British Airways, or Lufthansa, but by small firms that came from nowhere such as Easyjet, and Ryan Air. If the EU wants to be as sucessful as the USA perhaps it should take some of it's practices, such as minimal regulation.


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