Munich Personal RePEc Archive

EU enlargement and innovation policy in Central European countries: The case of Hungary

Havas, Attila (2004): EU enlargement and innovation policy in Central European countries: The case of Hungary. Published in: Salavisa, I., W. Rodrigues, S. Mendonça (eds): Inovação e Globalização: Estratégias para o desenvolvimento económico e territorial, Porto: Campo das Letras, 2007 (2007): pp. 83-113.

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Hungary, just as all the other Central European countries, is facing a number of interrelated challenges: the changing dynamics of globalisation and the concomitant re-arrangement of the international division of labour, as well as joining the European Union, where cohesion with the more developed members is a crucial issue for both the EU and national policy-makers. The starting point of this paper is that innovation – new technological, organisational and managerial solutions – is a must to enhance international competitiveness and thus improve quality of life. Although innovation is mainly matter for companies, public policies should assist the creation, exploitation, and diffusion of knowledge. Science, technology and innovation (STI) policies, therefore, can, and indeed should, play a significant role in meeting the above challenges – together with a host of other policies, such as education, competition, industrial, investment promotion, regional development and trade policies. Recent STI policies pursued in Hungary are assessed from this perspective. Thus, this chapter first puts STI policy issues into context by summarising the major challenges faced by policy-makers. To provide some background information on the policy formation process, albeit not a detailed sociological account, Section 3 describes the roles and responsibilities of the various actors in shaping Hungarian STI policies. Policy schemes are then discussed in Section 4. As policy misconceptions can easily lead to inappropriate spending of public money, some of the widely held mistaken believes are reviewed in Section 5, also serving as a basis for conclusions summarised in the final section.

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