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Where I wrote it without using the "Anglo Disease" moniker, but i think it fits.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 04:23:15 PM EST
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/12/8/151327/328

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 04:23:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are some interesting political/business undercurrents in the Scandinavian/Baltic region, that are accelerating at the moment. 11 metropolii (inc. Warsaw and St P) are working together to finance continued full welfare-based approaches to society (there is some diversity, but v. small in comparison to, say, US or UK) by a concerted effort to attract FDI.

In order to be strong in the European and global scale, Baltic Metropolises have to be prepared to take an active role in the development of the innovation area which goes well beyond their national boundaries. Therefore, the Baltic Metropolises have started to build up a closely networked "Archipelago of Innovation". The BaltMet Inno project has pooled a diversity of competences by bringing together cities, regional development agencies, universities and science parks for closer innovation policy co-operation.

Baltic Metropolises - Pool of Potentials

  • Baltic Metropolises*, together with the surrounding areas, are home to 21 million inhabitants ? every fourth citizen of the Baltic Sea Region
  • The joint annual GDP of the 11 cities is approx. EUR 400 billion
  • There are 92 universities, 145 polytechnics, university colleges and academies with a total number of students and academic staff of 1.3 million
  • Every fourth inhabitant has attained higher education
  • There are 86 science and research centres; over EUR 20 billion is invested in research and development annually (47% of the total R&D input of the Baltic Sea Region)
  • The total budget spending of the metropolises was EUR 43 billion in 2006

*Baltic Metropolises: Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Malmö, Oslo, Riga, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Tallinn, Vilnius, Warsaw

Of course the Nordic welfare system is expensive, and taxes are already high. Added to this Finnish nurses recently won a 10%+ wage increase, and striking Finnish pharmacists settled with 12% yesterday. There was much public support. Then we have to add in the Bulge of retirement peaking in 2010, and low birth rates.

The BaltMet Inno project is an attempt to finance all this with a better creative innovation and entrepreneurship infrastructure, rather than cut down on social services or put pressure on wages.

The key is state and corporate R&D investment. I am not sure about figures for the other countries (except for Sweden and Norway), but Finland invests 3.4% of GDP. In the past, a high proportion of Finnish R&D investment was state-sourced (ie via taxes and propitious use of EU funding), but now that a culture and infrastucture of innovation has been established, it is easier to draw in corporate investment.

The availabilty of a skilled and literate workforce is one of the pillars to this strategy. Brains are, perhaps, the most sustainable resource we have. But you don't get brains without education, and you don't keep brains without a good balance of reward and quality of life.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:05:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is soooo Last Century.

Let's reinvent the Hanseatic League....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:18:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's starting to happen. And why isn't Scotland in this? And was Helsinki part of the original?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:23:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scotland (or rather, most of it) is in a couple of other different EU zones: the "Northern Periphery" covers the Highland and Islands and much of the North; the rest has a very strange name.

I don't think Helsinki existed back then: Tallinn was quite important though.

The key Hanseatic cities were the German coastal cities eg Lubeck, Hamburg, Danzig as was, although London and Bergen were both very important trading hubs which had "Kontors" - sort of trading enclaves: London's "Steelyard" was where Cannon Street station is now.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:34:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turku/Åbo certainly existed ;-)

But anyway Chris - let's just continue with our program of re-education for everything in Europe north of 52 degrees lat. ;-)


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, let's have a Baltic Union, a Euromediterranean Union, a Black Sea Synergy and a North Sea Partnership.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:35:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For various interesting and diariable reasons (some, physiological) around 7 seems to be the optimal number of units that can sit round a table and come to an agreement - be it people or nations. Beyond 7 you get clustering. Maybe we need the 25 divided into the 4 you mention in order for this anecdotal effect to bring about real unity?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:42:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have suggested this one before, but breaking up Europe into the drainage basins of the various rivers and grouping these by which sea they empty into gives a "natural" grouping of European countries and regions. You can see a lot of historical political units in this map:

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_divide)

Examples: the Ostsee basin is the Hansa you're talking about now. Donau is the Austro-Hungarian Empire. You can see the contour of Switzerland at the south end of the Rhine Basin. The border between Castilla and Aragon, between the French speaking and the Germanic regions are visible, and so on...

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:52:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
interesting concept...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:55:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finland doesn't appear to have any significant drainage. Is the 'stability' of lakes archetypal? ;-=

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 06:59:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The wikipedia map is incomplete. Finland has a long list of rivers and most of the country drains into the Baltic sea anyway:

(http://www.grida.no/baltic/)

(right-click on the image to see it larger)

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 07:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn those cartographers! I'd still like to believe that there are cultural/geographic folk memories that have an influence on historical social development. How has the flatness of the Netherlands affected the development of particular society ? The insularity of the UK? The DNA segregation of the Glens, the Atlantic for the Portuguese, the wilderness of the Steppes etc.

Particular geographical matrices fill 'classical' European literature. Before metropolii you lived in a landscape that affected every part of your life. How long does that 'folk memory' survive down through the generations?

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 07:26:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a time, not so long ago, when travelling between basins necessarily involved crossing a mountain ridge. Most people didn't do it, and neither did most trade, so you naturally get a horizon that doesn't extend beyond the boundaries of your home basin, for generations. Travel and trade by sea was easier so you get natural political and economic units around seas.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 07:33:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One might almost talk about the influence of gravity upon trade. Something sadly lacking today, I feel.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 07:40:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Sargon on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 07:01:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not based on any new ideas.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 07:11:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It could be happening...

The EU is maybe too preoccupied with internal strife and regulatory issues to notice:  

Nordic model for the Balkans?

Could the Nordic model be applied to the Balkans? Serbian diplomat and researcher Marina Jovisevic, who was stationed Copenhagen 2003-2007, thinks it could.

Jovisevic's doctoral thesis for the University of Belgrade studies the Nordic model for co-operation from both a historical and a modern perspective, focusing on collaboration on social affairs, business, culture and the environment.

"Regional co-operation and positive relations with our neighbours are top priorities in the foreign policy of all the Balkan countries," she stresses.

Jovisevic is also mindful of the fact that the Nordic countries have a bloody past too, and that despite centuries of war they have managed to establish a meaningful and effective partnership. It is true that the Balkans are less homogenous, e.g. in terms of a religion, and it is not long since the countries were waging war on each other. Politically sensitive issues, in particular the question of Kosovo's status, also continue to put a strain on relations.

"On the other hand, I'm convinced that the Nordic model is the only one for the Balkans," the researcher says.

Jovisevic hopes that her thesis will provide a useful run-down of the Nordic model, which she describes as the best one available for regional and European co-operation. Her aim is that the research will serve as the foundation and as a source of inspiration for politicians, civil servants and experts involved in regional co-operation in the Balkans.

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 at 07:58:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the Nordic model. My quick search yields nothing.
by Upstate NY on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 03:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It refers to the cross border co-operation the Nordic countries have through the Nordic Council (formed in 1952) and the Nordic Council of Ministers (formed in 1972).

They now also work closely with the Baltic States.

You can find information in English here: http://norden.org/start/start.asp?lang=6

(Sorry about the link, I don't know how to make it 'invisible'!)

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 04:32:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do it like this:

You can find information <a href="http://norden.org/start/start.asp?lang=6">in English here</a>.

Which becomes:

You can find information in English here.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 04:58:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...you can find information in English here.

It worked...

Thank you!

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 05:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure it fits to this diary, but for any further ones, will you follow the suggestion to insert a box explaining the term as analogy to the Dutch Disease, with link where you first said so?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 9th, 2007 at 01:43:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We are close to corporate dictatorship, one may say.
by das monde on Sun Dec 9th, 2007 at 08:07:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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