Comparative Reflections on Poland and Norway
Chapter 7: Knowledge and the “Europe of the Regions”: The Case of the High North. Rómulo Pinheiro
Chapter 7 Knowledge and the “Europe of the Regions”: The Case of the High North Rómulo Pinheiro Introduction In the European context, knowledge has been at the forefront of policy debates ever since the 2000 Lisbon summit of heads of states, with economic competitiveness and social cohesion as basic pillars of the European project (Gornitzka 2007). Particular attention has been paid to existing socio-economic asymmetries at the national and sub-national levels, substantiated around the idea of a “Europe of the Regions” (Borras-Alomar et al. 1994). In policy terms, the regional dimension is “intended to reflect better the cultural and national divisions within Europe and, therefore, to tackle more adequately the problems left unsolved by the 'obsolete' national structure.” (ibid., p. 28) At the national level, “lagging regions” are seen as critical impediments with respect to economic, social and territorial cohesion (European Commission 2007). Regional competitiveness, economic growth and employment are key items of national and supra-national policy agendas. At the sub-national level, a set of framework conditions as per the underlying regional infrastructure are highlighted: physical, in the form of transport and telecommunication networks, human, in the form of the skills and know-how of the work force, and social, in the form of care and other support services. They [conditions] also include the capacity for innovation, which is an increasingly important determinant of competitiveness and which is linked to human resource endowment but which encompasses as well the resources devoted to R&D and the effectiveness with which they...
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