creating sustainable growth in europe
is the aim and title of our major new research initiative, to which we are devoting the vast majority of our resources until December 2009. The initiative addresses the emerging economic, social and political challenges confronting governments not only in Germany and the UK, but across Europe and the industrialised world.
It is organised into four linked but independent programmes, and has an overall budget of over £3 million/€4 million.’
Each programme, and the initiative as a whole, will engage in dialogue with key policy actors and stakeholders through a programme of seminars, workshops and conferences, notably a major mid-point conference in autumn 2007 and concluding policy events in autumn 2009 to be held in London and Berlin.
In 1973 , the year in which Britain entered the European Community and in which the Anglo-German Foundation was established, the British economy was struggling with conflictual industrial relations, weak productivity growth and poor macroeconomic management. It has now experienced more than a decade of growth, has record low rates of unemployment and is currently enjoying the benefits of a well-functioning macroeconomic policy framework outside the Euro zone. The West German economy fared much better in the 1970s and 1980s, with an industrial sector featuring high levels of training and product quality and an effective macroeconomic framework, both operating in the context of strong unions and employers’ associations. But a decade and a half after German unification, the German economy is suffering from sluggish growth and high unemployment. Do the institutions, structures and customs of either country add up to a ‘model’ appropriate for today’s economic challenges? Can we transfer innovations or best practice from one national system into another? Or do the reform experiments which have taken place elsewhere in Europe provide other models of economic organisation which could complement or supplant the Rhineland and Anglo-Saxon models?
The challenges facing European economies today are substantially different from those which confronted us in 1973. Among the most pressing are the need to stimulate creativity and innovation in order to remain globally competitive; the impact of an ageing population; changing patterns and flows of migration; and environmental constraints on sustainable growth. We believe that it will not be possible to meet those challenges without collaborative and comparative research in the spirit of the Foundation’s traditions and founding Charter. That Charter will expire in December 2009, and this new research initiative aims to set the seal on the Foundation’s contribution over the last thirty years to the understanding of industrial society in Britain and Germany, and to create a lasting legacy in the form of an outline framework for a sustainable industrial society for the next thirty years.
Academic Advisory Board
The initiative is overseen by a distinguished Academic Advisory Board under the chairmanship of Professor Sir Tony Atkinson, formerly Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford University.
The other members of the Advisory Board are: