Regional progress of the Lisbon strategy objectives in the European region

Egri, Zoltán – Tánczos, Tamás

Kulcsszavak: Lisbon strategy, mobility factor, education-employment factor, human resourches

As it is clear from the foregoing, the countries/country groups analyzed by education, R&D and labor market characteristics show a rather mixed picture. There is a lot more work to do at community, regional and national levels. This is true not only for the member states but also for the candidate countries. Cluster 1 and Cluster 2 proceed well on the road towards achieving the objectives of more and better jobs, full employment and social cohesion. These are open countries and most of them do not hinder the free flow of persons regarding the citizens of the new member states. As to competitiveness, these countries are among the best not only in Europe but also in the world. The best example for using synergies is the Scandinavian cooperation in the form of the Nordic Council (Cluster 1). Within this regional partnership arrangement (which even has its own parliament and budget) the member states cooperate in more than 25 topics, covering also the employment-education fields. The difference from the average is not so great in the case of education financing but it is rather substantial in R&D support. The new member states, the cohesion countries and the candidate countries must significantly increase the current level and encourage the business sector through enterprise-friendly policies in order for the support from the business sector to reach the desired 2/3 level. The resulting impacts will be visible also in the correlation between employment, unemployment, economic activity and long-term unemployment. It is a particularly important issue in Poland, Malta, Italy, Hungary and Greece. It should be acknowledged that the progress is rather difficult with regard to community-level arrangements. It is enough to mention the progress of the strategy during the first five years, or the fact that the European Commission to give new dynamics to it in 2005. The process is progressing well at the level of resolutions. Although the member states have prepared their national programs, they contain rather heterogeneous issues and targets. Considering only the R&D expenditures and the relevant target deadlines, the various countries wish to reach the following rates by 2010: Malta 0.75%, Cyprus 1.0%, Greece 1.5%, Poland 1.65%, Slovakia and Hungary 1.8%. Ireland and the United Kingdom set 2013-2014 as a deadline for reaching the desired rates. As a next step, the European Commission will urge the prime ministers and heads of state to make the necessary commitments within the framework of the European Council and will provide support for each member state. What is more, the Commission would use the Cohesion Fund, together with other EU tools, to finance the objectives of growth and employment. However, the support of the European Council and Parliament will also be required for the achievement of all these targets. Naturally, there are many other aspects of the Lisbon strategy apart from the human one. Still, the human aspect forms the basis given that it is man who creates things. The economic and environmental pillars of the strategy are designed in such a manner that the common development efforts based on synergies will be indispensable not only within each pillar but also among the various pillars. After all, 2010 is not that far from today.