The EU and European Models' Competitiveness at Stake

Bal, Ana
Dragomir, Jora Octavian
Gârdu, Dana
Topan, Vladimir
Publication date: 
JEL codes: 
H1 - Structure and Scope of Government, H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies, I3 - Welfare and Poverty, J0 - General.
This paper aims to shed light on the following issues: country-specific/country cluster-specific approaches to competitiveness; alternative routes to competitiveness, relying either on national strategies or business endeavour or both; instrument types – institutions and policies – as well as orientation to improve national competitiveness; performance differences among EU country clusters/models. One essential issue is the competitiveness concept and the factors underpinning it in a competitiveness-driven economy, assessing the sustainability of M. Porter’s national competitiveness advantage theory and trying to make sense of the competitive vs. comparative advantage controversy. The debate further leads to national economic models in the EU regarding the degree of state intervention in the economy and the way it impacts upon global competitiveness as defined by the World Economic Forum. Equally valuable is striking a balance between state involvement and aloofness as competitiveness boosters. This also implies revisiting the impact of EU-level regulations upon national competitiveness, ascertaining whether centralization of policies and competencies within the EU can increase competitiveness or inhibit it. Concerning the Lisbon Agenda, it is useful to consider whether to bet on pure knowledge or rather on capital accumulation as a sustainable growth recipe, discriminating between what really spurs competitiveness on and mere fallacies about development.
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