Banchoff, Thomas. (2002) The Politics of the European Research Area. ACES Working Paper 2002.3, August 2002. [Working Paper]
At their Lisbon summit in March 2000, European Union leaders endorsed an ambitious goal: to make the EU “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world” by the year 2010 (European Council, 2000). This was visionary rhetoric. But it was also more than that. While the ambition of surpassing the United States may or may not be realistic, European leaders are clearly committed to it in both word and deed. They continue to articulate the goal of being number one. And they have initiated a range of policies designed to bring the goal within reach -- everything from the successful introduction of a single currency to competition policy reform and a range of Internet initiatives. This paper examines a key part of this effort, the “European Research Area” (ERA). Launched in January 2000 and endorsed in Lisbon, the ERA is an ambitious effort to pool European scientific and technological resources more effectively. This paper seeks to explain the emergence of the ERA initiative, its initial successes in the face of considerable resistance, and its implications for both the study of European integration and EU efforts to compete with the United States.
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