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EU 2020

EU 2020 - A new economic strategy for Europe

The European Commission has now launched the Europe 2020 strategy which will take Europe out of the crisis and prepare the EU’s economy for the next decade. The Commission has identified three key drivers of growth: smart growth, sustainable growth and inclusive growth.

The Commission believes that Europe must learn from the global economic and financial crisis. Our economies are inextricably linked. No Member State can address global challenges effectively by acting alone.

We are stronger when we cooperate and close coordination of our economic policies are therefore necessary for us to find our way out of the crisis. If we fail, we may have to face a "lost decade" of relative decline, permanently weakened growth rates and high levels of structural unemployment.

Three priority areas

In the Europe 2020 Strategy a vision is presented for Europe’s social market economy over the next decade, which rests on three interlinked and mutually reinforcing priority areas:

Smart growth – developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation (promoting knowledge, innovation, education and a digital society)

Sustainable growth – promoting a low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy (making our production more resource efficient while increasing competitiveness)

Growth for all – stimulating an economy with high employment and social and territorial cohesion (increasing labour force participation, improving skills and reinforcing the fight against poverty).

Five objectives that indicate where the EU should be in 2020

Progress in achieving these goals will be measured in relation to five overall and representative EU objectives which the Member States must transform into national targets that reflect their different starting points:

  • 75% of the population aged 20-64 will have a job.
  • 3% of the EU’s GDP will be invested in research.
  • The climate and environmental objectives "20/20/20" will be reached.
  • The proportion of young people who drop out of school must be under 10% and 40% of the younger generation must have completed a degree or higher studies.
  • The number of people living on the poverty line must be reduced by 20 million.

Leadership must be lifted to a new level

The level of ambition in Europe 2020 means that leadership and accountability must be taken to a new level. The Commission calls on Heads of State and Governments to take responsibility for this new strategy and adopt it at the spring meeting of the European Council. The European Parliament’s role will also be augmented.

Control methods will be consolidated to ensure that the undertakings are translated into effective action out in the field. The Commission will monitor the progress. The report and evaluation in both Europe 2020 and the Stability and Growth Pact will be carried out simultaneously (but they will remain distinct instruments) in order to improve coherence. This will mean that both of the strategies will be able to strive towards similar reform objectives at the same time as they remain separate instruments.

Read more about the strategy

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