The Lisbon Process is an important EU initiative, but surrounded by puzzles. The strategy, planned for ten years and relating to the whole EU, was based on the kind of ambitious targets known hitherto only in the history of centrally planned economies. Professional preparation of the strategy was minimal, and for several years, very few EU citizens so much as heard of it. After four years, however, there is much embarrassment that almost nothing of the ambitious Lisbon economic and social targets seems to have been implemented. How was the Lisbon Process launched, what does it really contain, and what prospects does it have in the coming years? And in general, what kind of theoretical issues emerge when such a long-term strategy based on EU-level coordination is set in motion?
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