Unless Europe takes a very different attitude towards entrepreneurship and the entire innovation process, it is useless to talk about the Lisbon Agenda. The gap between Europe on one side and the US and Japan on the other has continued to increase after the year 2000. The only EU countries contributing substantially more to GERD in 2002 were Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Belgium, while the EU-15 average reached 1.99% for public and private sources together.
New members and accession countries face an additional gap vis-à-vis the EU-15 in most aspects of R&D and competitiveness. These countries are not joining only the Single Market but also the creation of the European Research Area. In order to be able to benefit fully from European RTD funding, they need to enhance their links with research communities in existing member states. In addition, they should install R&D lobbying offices in Brussels, as most member states have. At the moment, there are only four from accession states (Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia and Poland) along with an office from Turkey.
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