Saturday, October 08, 2005

Where will Europe be in 2010?

You may have heard about the recent enthousiasm about Turkey's 'approval' for starting the entry procedure into the EU. This is certainly good news, but what Europe really needs right now is something more than a loose federation of countries.

In particular, in order to stay (or become) a competitive economy, a lot more action is required to reform the internal household and strategically align all member states. And I am not even mentioning the issue of a constitution here (whether or not that is needed is subject to discussion).

Then what am I talking about? I mean setting priorities straight, and making sure that all that money that goes into funding is really well spent. If we want to become a knowledge economy (the goal stated by the commission itself) then why do we keep spending 40% of the budget on agriculture? By the way, I don't know if it is true but I read the other day that this money actually goes to people who happen to own a lot of terriritory. (Even the British royalty seems to get its share?!)

Also, the money that _does_ go to strategic areas should be spent a little better IMHO. For instance, it is well-known that the current way of funding ICT is more or less a closed circuit. Once you're in the club of players, you get to play along. Why? In part because of the way that ICT funding is measured for performance: the EU seems to value follow-up projects because they re-use previous investments.

While this certainly means that these previous investments are not lost, it is not the most accurate way of measuring efficiency, I think. Instead, it would be better to measure the business revenue that is generated by previous investments. But maybe I am overlooking something, I don't know...

I am definitely not the first to complain about this, but by repeating there is just a bit more probability that someone reads it and can make a difference;-)