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Compared with that in the United States, economic growth in Europe in the 1990s and since 2000 has been unsatisfactory. According to some observers, Europe’s slow growth is attributable to the drying up of the convergence capacity of the ‘European model’ which, albeit generating sustained growth accompanied through broad social protection for four decades, since the 1990s has proved unsuitable for technological ‘frontier growth’. It should therefore be abandoned or at least radically reformed, in which case the first move would be to scale down its social features. But if the diagnosis is, in part, correct, the proposed cure is the result of superficial analysis of both European tardiness and of American success, hence failing to take into account the heterogeneousness of Europe, the impact of expansion and, last but not least, the real sources of the ‘American productivity miracle’. To solve the problems of Europe it is necessary not to dismantle welfare systems and the ‘European model’ but to take stock of the innovative capacity and sustainability of the collective choices of Europeans with regard to the use of the continent’s human and natural resources.