By Thomas C. Lawton
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Extra resources for European Industrial Policy and Competitiveness: Concepts and Instruments
The main devices here are the promotion of technology and of training, as well as the development of common, high quality standards throughout the EU. In all of these we can perceive a notable shift in emphasis since the early 1990s away from a narrow focus on specific industrial sectors and even particular firms. This is most notable in research and development (R&D) policies, particularly the Framework programmes. During the 1980s, resources were primarily directed towards the electronics and telecommunications sectors.
The facilitation of structural adjustment is important but there is more inference (and policy practice) of government giving a hand-out rather than a hand-up. Also, the emphasis was on helping large established firms to restructure, Introduction 11 rather than assisting start-ups and other SMEs to establish or consolidate a market presence. Nester advances a rather general notion of industrial policy. 4). A country such as France has tended to pursue the first form, whilst the United States is a good example of a nation which employs the latter approach.
We therefore accept that the EU has learned from its past mistakes and has, since the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, sought to develop a more co-ordinated and competitiveness-oriented industrial policy. 5 A European industrial competitiveness model The Maastricht-inspired approach is not a comprehensive model of European industrial policy. In particular, it fails to account for those policy instruments which remain firmly or partially within the national domain and which have an equal and sometimes greater impact on the competitiveness of European industry.