Innovation-lagging and economically weak countries in the European Union cut their public research and innovation (R&I) budgets during the crisis, while innovation leading and fiscally stronger countries forged ahead with public R&I spending. There is therefore an increasing research and innovation divide in Europe.

The European Commission monitors the progress of member states towards their own R&I targets in pursuit of the Europe 2020 goals. This monitoring happens annually through the European Semester.
But an analysis of the Commission’s latest country-specific recommendation delivered as part of the European Semester system shows that recommendations related to R&I are incoherent. This is well known within the Commission`s relevant departments.
Meanwhile, Europe’s overall R&D-to-GDP-ratio continues to stand at 2 percent, far from the EU’s 3 percent target, significantly lower than the US, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
Would you agree that exercises such as the preparation and comparison of national Reform Programmes and the European Semester, are driving EU countries’ innovation policies too much in the same direction?
Nor have innovation policies been able to address the growing innovation gap in the EU.
The choice of policy instruments should adapt to local requirements, and should tailor innovation policy mixes to local needs.
Why is this not happening?

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