The central argument developed in the paper is that the governance of the LS lacks a structured regional dimension, and that this omission is a major weakness of the entire process. The resulting weakness is twofold. First, as a matter of achieving the substantive Lisbon objectives within the economic pillar, the absence of a structured regional dimension risks excluding from the strategy a range of sub-state overnments, administrations and economic stakeholders responsible for devising and delivering those economic policies 'locally' which will shape the overall rate of growth of output and employment across the EU. Socio-economic development actually occurs at the local level, yet there is no EU-wide discussion on the best-practice approach to including local economic players within the Lisbon process generally, or the OMC overnance arrangement specifically. Instead, the LS is essentially a top-down strategy. Second, the absence of a formal role for local economic governance and stakeholders to be involved in the Lisbon process risks weakening the legitimacy of the venture. The principle of subsidiarity asserts that decisions should be taken as closely to the citizen as possible. This principle is designed not only to ensure that policies are shaped according to differing local circumstances, but also to maximise the involvement of 'local' stakeholders in the setting the objectives and designing the delivery of economic policies. The OMC process which governs the LS makes little or no mention to this principle. This paper focuses entirely on the economic, or competitiveness strand of the Lisbon process.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2005|