This authoritative book, bringing together the reports of the Competitiveness Advisory Group, identifies actions to improve European competitiveness politically, economically and socially. The objective is to raise living standards and maintain social cohesion. The Competitiveness Advisory Group has the mission of advising the European Commission and the Heads of State and Government of the European Union. The members of this independent group, which includes leading industrialists, trade unionists, politicians and academics, have adopted a 'bottom-up' approach, seeking to draw lessons from the experience of countries, industries and firms: they rely on 'benchmarking' in order to identify best practice. In the context of increasing interdependence of world trade and consequent globalization of the international economy new policy prescriptions are required for growth and employment, greater efficiency and higher standards of living. In relation to this, the Group discusses the need to close the worldwide technology gap, for Europe to develop deeper relations with the fast growing Asia Pacific region and argues for greater European solidarity in international trade negotiations.
Within the European Union itself, it emphasizes the need to achieve the internal market for the free flow of goods, services and people. In addition, it stresses that Europe needs to catch-up, construct and eventually lead the development of the information society in which workers are recognized as a major asset to be invested in. The Group concludes that, although unemployment remains high, European competitiveness now has a brighter future with the movement towards economic and monetary union, and the enlargement of the European Union eastwards. This book will be essential reading for policymakers, government advisers, industrialists and academics concerned with the future of European economies and societies.
'... this is a valuable book.' -- Stephen Young, Journal of International Business Studies