Europe needs more investment in research and development to compete better with the United States and emerging economies such as China and India, the leaders of Spain and Britain said Wednesday.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was ending a 24-hour visit, and Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said after a Spanish-British business conference Wednesday that they agreed with goals set out by 17 business leaders there.
The goals included investing more in innovation and reforming universities to bring them closer to the business community.
Blair cited Britain and Spain as examples of countries that have posted solid economic growth and job creation, but needed to do more in a fiercely competitive international environment.
"At each stage we have to up our game," Blair told reporters before returning to Britain.
He arrived in Spain on Tuesday for talks with Zapatero centering largely on the peace process in Spain's Basque country, with Zapatero drawing on Blair's experience in dealing with the Irish Republican Army.
Blair urged Spain to be patient and determined as it tries to end the decades-old armed campaign by the separatist group ETA, which declared what it called a permanent cease-fire in March.