Europe 2020: a strategy for European Union growth
The Commission proposes a new political strategy, ‘Europe 2020’, to support employment, productivity and social cohesion in Europe. The European Union (EU) currently faces a moment of transformation, resulting mainly from globalisation, climate change and demographic ageing. In addition, the 2008 financial crisis has challenged the social and economic progress made by EU countries. The economic recovery which started in 2010 must be accompanied by a series of reforms in order to guarantee the sustainable development of the EU in the coming decade.
Communication from the Commission of 3 March 2010 - Europe 2020 A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth [COM(2010) 2020 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission presents the strategy which should enable the European Union (EU) to achieve growth that is:
- smart, through the development of knowledge and innovation;
- sustainable, based on a greener, more resource efficient and more competitive economy;
- inclusive, aimed at strengthening employment, and social and territorial cohesion.
In addition, the Commission proposes a series of targets to be achieved by 2020:
- increasing the employment rate of the population aged 20-64 to 75 %;
- investing 3 % of gross domestic product (GDP) in research and development;
- reducing carbon emissions by 20 % (and by 30 % if conditions permit), increasing the share of renewable energies by 20 % and increasing energy efficiency by 20 %;
- reducing the school drop out rate to less than 10 % and increasing the proportion of tertiary degrees to 40 %;
- reducing the number of people threatened by poverty by 20 million.
The EU 2020 programme
The Commission presents seven flagship initiatives to be put in place at European level and in EU countries:
- the Innovation Union, to support the production of innovative products and services, in particular concerning climate change, energy efficiency, health and the ageing population;
- the Youth on the move initiative, to enhance the performance of education systems, non-formal and informal learning, student and researcher mobility, but also young people’s entry to the labour market;
- the Digital Agenda for Europe initiative, to promote the creation of a digital single market, characterised by a high level of trust and a clear legal framework. Furthermore, fast and subsequently ultra fast internet should be accessible to the population as a whole;
- the Resource-efficient Europe initiative, to support the sustainable management of resources and the reduction of carbon emissions, while maintaining the competitiveness of the European economy and its energy security;
- the industrial policy for the globalisation era initiative, to help businesses to overcome the economic crisis, integrate into world trade and adopt more environmentally-friendly production methods;
- the agenda for new skills and jobs, to improve employment and the sustainability of social models. The aim is to encourage the strategies of flexicurity, worker and student training, but also gender equality and the employment of older workers;
- the European Platform against Poverty, to increase cooperation between EU countries, and to follow the Open Method of Coordination in the areas of social exclusion and social protection. The objective of the Platform is to be the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU, and the social inclusion of people experiencing poverty.
Introduction of the strategy
The strategy is to be presented through 10 ‘Europe 2020’ integrated guidelines adopted by the June 2010 European Council. They are to replace the current 24 employment guidelines and the broad economic policy guidelines.
The Council may also address policy recommendations to EU countries on economic and budget matters, and all of the thematic areas covered by the strategy.
A substantial part of the strategy is to be implemented by the national, regional and local authorities of the EU countries, associating national parliaments, social partners and civil society. Actions to raise awareness are to be conducted among European citizens.
The Commission shall be responsible for monitoring progress. It shall present yearly reports, including reports on the achievements of the stability and convergence programmes.
- For more information, consult the European Commission’s website devoted to the Europe 2020 strategy