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- PublicationThe Territorial Dimensions of EducationFor all citizens to participate fully in society and to improve employability, a basic level of education is required. Education is a key factor in preventing poverty, achieving social inclusion objectives, and in ensuring that Europe can develop a “smart growth” agenda because the growing numbers of knowledge-intensive jobs require higher levels of education and those with low levels of qualification could potentially be significantly excluded (Lennert et al., 2010). The transition towards a more knowledge-intensive economy can only take place with increasing levels of education. Carneiro (2006, p. 98) specifically argues that “education directly affects individual employment and earnings and therefore it contributes to income inequality for a given cross section of individuals”. The EU2020S itself associates high levels of early school leaving with a range of negative impacts on individuals, societies and economies (European Commission, 2011a); improving educational attainment is therefore critical for the develpment of a smart, inclusive and sustainable Europe.
- PublicationResearch, development and innovation across the European territoriesInvestment in research and innovation is one of three headline indicators identified as an important aspect of an overall growth and jobs strategy within the Smart Growth pillar of the EU2020S. Combined with more efficient use of resources, innovation is conceived as the key mechanism through which the European Union will become increasingly competitive and through which economic recovery will occur. Ahlstrom (2010: 10) argues that “steady economic growth generated through innovation plays a major role in producing increases in per capita income. Small changes in economic growth can yield very large differences in income over time, making firm growth particularly salient to societies”. Research, development and innovation thus has the potential to help deliver on at least some of the smart, inclusive and sustainable goals of the EU2020S. Strong local economies are required to ensure global competitiveness (Territorial Agenda 2020) and the Innovation Union flagship initiative identifies 34 action points to improve the conditions and access to finance for research and innovation in Europe, facilitating the transfer of innovative ideas into products and services that will create growth and jobs (European Commission, 2010a).