Europe at Crossroads – description
From the beginning, the European Union had a clear objective: to permanently consolidate peace in Europe after two of the bloodiest wars in history. This was supplemented after the fall of communism with a second priority: to become an economic power capable of counterbalancing America's growing dominance. The current state of Europe, however, has sparked a fierce debate on just how well the economy is really doing in comparison to the U.S.–and whether Europe can continue to compete and maintain its generous welfare state.
Written by one of Europe's most well-known and respected economists, Europe at the Crossroads analyzes whether the EU is fulfilling its economic and social targets, outlining in a simple and understandable way the main issues facing the EU today and in the future. Drawing upon the recent official data and literature, Guillermo de la Dehesa seeks solutions for Europe by comparing its situation to that of the U.S. and revealing how much more can be achieved in the areas of efficiency, productivity, and innovation.
De la Dehesa documents the EU's persistent economic underperformance in recent decades and examines the cause of its slower growth. He then presents a comprehensive blueprint of reforms for increased prosperity and deeper social cohesion, which addresses:
- The main economic challenge facing both the U.S. and the EU: the impact of aging on public expenditures
- How to enrich the EU's policy and institutional environments to enhance business conditions for existing firms and new entrepreneurial activities
- Necessary structural reforms–welfare state, labor and product markets
- Fostering a knowledge society though increased investments in R&D and higher education
- The difficulties in implementing the Lisbon Strategy (major strategic goals for improving the EU's economic efficiency) and methods for meeting those challenges
Thought-provoking, expertly researched, and brilliantly evaluated, Europe at the Crossroads presents the most informed discussion on the current and future state of Europe's economy.
From Publishers Weekly
With its extensive annotated tables, graphs, summaries of EU studies and a wrapup of the most recent Lisbon Summit, this volume is a treasure trove of data for Europolicy wonks. And it doesn't neglect the technical details behind the numbers, which cover leisure, income, productivity, education and technology research and development. Topics include European demographic trends, the economic and fiscal effects of pension plans, the relative productivity of labor and capital and comparisons of the EU to the United States and the separate countries against each other. A key focus is the two labor markets within Europe: the protected insiders, usually older European men, and the unprotected outsiders, usually immigrants, women and youth. Discussion is mostly limited to the pan-European level so the book can touch only superficially on major issues such as immigration policy and intraunion regulation and trade policy. One serious defect is the book's rambling structure; it has neither clear questions nor strong conclusions. The author is deeply attached to the European social model, but seems vaguely gloomy about its ability to support vibrant economic growth or to extend its coverage to all European residents. Few of the statistics cover periods since 2002 and the many tables list countries in differing and apparently random order making table to table comparisons laborious. (Feb.)
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