Is the European economy a patient, and the Union its doctor? On jobs and growth in Europe
In retrospect, employment (jobs) in the European Union have continued to expand, whereas the rate productivity growth has fallen. The latter phenomenon is not easily explained by (falling) investment in knowledge. Instead, the current, relatively low productivity growth rate largely reflects success in the past: many European countries have caught up with the United States and have seen relatively fast employment growth in the late nineties.
Looking forward, we argue that the combination of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) with National Action Plans, the way Europe wants to achieve its goals, is both too little and too much: European interference with national employment polices has a weak basis, whereas OMC may not provide the member states with strong enough commitment to pursue an innovation agenda.