Opinion: Barroso should write off Lisbon as a failure

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

Commenting in advance of the Barroso’s presentation of the
Commission’s five year strategic priorities, the Wall Street
Journal describes the Lisbon Agenda as “a sham” and suggests
slashing the volume of regulation at EU and member state

In an opinion piece entitled ‘Bursting the Bubble’,
the  Wall Street Journal argues that Lisbon, known
at the time as the ‘dot-com summit’ needs to be scrapped.

Billing its piece as ‘our midterm review’ of the Lisbon
Agenda in advance of the Commission’s official version on 26
January, the US paper says: “If the Lisbon Agenda were a dot-com
itself, it would have gone bankrupt within months of its

It says that Lisbon is “long on rhetoric and short on
practicality”, arguing that nobody wants to be against
‘competitiveness’ and that it has been used by reformers and
anti-reformers alike to further their arguments. Although conceding
that the aims of Lisbon were refreshing, “the political
will to pursue those goals never existed, and half a decade of
rising joblessness has done nothing to change that fact”.

Its advice to the Commission – write off Lisbon as a failure and
slash the volume of regulation at EU and member state level.

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