Keith Cowling and Roger Sugden
The absolute and relative failures of European economies over recent years imply a general need to rethink the overall form and direction of industrial economic policies throughout the continent. Although there have been notable successes at certain points in time and for certain economies, in general Europe is in an economic crisis requiring new responses at regional and panEuropean levels. There are various symptoms of this crisis. One is the recent very high unemployment levels in industrialized countries; the average unemployment rate amongst members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Western Europe rose from 3 per cent in 1973, the end of the period of relatively full employment stretching back at least to the early 1960s, to 11 per cent in 1986, subsequently falling through 1989 before returning to the 1986 level in the early 1990s. Another symptom is the economic disintegration and collapse of the formerly centrally administered economies of Central and Eastern Europe, following their opening to the processes and structures of free market capitalism; by the end of 1992 output in these economies had already fallen by at least 16 per cent, a decline that was generally set to continue.
Our aim in this chapter is to consider the appropriate response to this crisis (see also Cowling and Sugden (1993a, 1994) for further detail). More specifically, we advocate an approach which addresses industrial issues in a coherent and consistent manner. We do not presume omniscient policy makers, rather a willingness to become involved in the strategy making of the major actors in
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Publication information: Book title: Europe's Economic Challenge:Analyses of Industrial Strategy and Agenda for the 1990s. Contributors: Patrizio Bianchi - Editor, Keith Cowling - Editor, Roger Sugden - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 37.
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