European innovation policy – successes but also new challenges
The re-launched Lisbon Partnership for growth and jobs has put innovation and entrepreneurship at the centre and called for decisive and more coherent action by the Community and the Member States in view of mastering the shift towards knowledge based low carbon economy. On this basis, an ambitious European innovation policy has been launched in 2006 and the Small Business Act (SBA) has been agreed. Thanks to the partnership approach between the EU and its Member States progress can today be reported. Almost all Member States have improved their innovation performance. The innovation gap between the EU and its key competitors, the US and Japan, has narrowed. However, the Communication also recognises policy gaps and indicates areas where further improvements both at European and at Member States level are necessary. This analysis will feed into the preparation of the new European reform agenda beyond 2010.