Brussels, 12 April 2005
[Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ]
On March 22 and 23, the Heads of State and Government of the EU endorsed the revision of the Lisbon Strategy as proposed by the Commission. The Spring European Council approved the simplified governance arrangement with one set of Integrated Guidelines dealing with macro-economic, micro-economic and employment issues. Taking stock of the unsatisfactory results half way to the 2010 target, the Commission proposed a fundamental revision of the original strategy. To overcome the rather limited implementation of reform in Member States so far, the Commission has proposed focusing partnership with Member States on growth and jobs and introduced a Lisbon Action Plan that outlines actions to be taken at EU and at national level under three policy areas:
Making Europe a more attractive place to invest and work
Knowledge and innovation for growth
Creating more and better jobs
The Commission proposal for the integrated guidelines
package is mainly based on the priority action areas as identified in its Lisbon
mid-term review. While the macroeconomic guidelines (covering for instance
budgetary policy, reduction of public debts and EMU issues) have no counterpart
in the Lisbon Action Programme, the micro-economic guidelines build on Lisbon
action areas (1) to (7), and the employment guidelines build on Lisbon action
areas (8) to (10).
Integrated guidelines for growth and jobs (2005-2008)
The full text of the integrated guidelines is available at:
A new governance cycle
In order to make Lisbon work, the delivery mechanisms of the Lisbon strategy need to be improved. The Broad Economic Policy Guidelines and Employment Guidelines have been merged in a single integrated guideline package allowing for a clear strategic vision of European challenges in the fields of macro- and microeconomics as well as employment. This integrated approach is intended to leverage the guidelines, which are the cornerstones of EU economic policy, and make them a driving force of the Lisbon strategy. Modernizing economic and employment coordination in the EU will help deliver on the new Lisbon objectives to create growth and jobs. The proposed integrated guidelines will constitute the beginning of a new governance cycle. On the basis of the guidelines, Member States will draw up 3-year national reform programmes. Member States will report each autumn on the implementation of the reform programmes in a single national Lisbon report. The Commission will analyse and summarise these reports in an EU Annual Progress Report in January each year. On the basis of the progress report, the Commission can propose amendments to the integrated guidelines, if necessary.
New annual governance cycle (calendar for the 2005-2006 exercise in brackets)
National Lisbon Programmes
Commission Progress Report
(Commission proposal 12 April 2005)
Revision of guidelines,
(Commission proposal Jan. 2006)
[Graphic in PDF & Word format]
As limited time will have lapsed between the presentation of the national Lisbon programmes in the autumn and the first Progress Report in January 2006, the Commission will in the 2006 Progress Report mainly comment on reforms underway across the Union. The first more substantial EU reporting on the actual implementation of the Member States national reform programmes will take place in the 2007 Annual Progress Report following Member States presentation of their first national Lisbon report in the autumn of 2006.
What are the integrated guidelines?
A new simplified and integrated guideline package (IGP) has been established that brings together two sets of existing guidelines: the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPGs, Treaty art. 128) and the Employment Guidelines (EGs; Treaty art. 99). The new integrated guidelines are the central policy-making instrument for the development and implementation of the Lisbon strategy. Following the Commission’s adoption of the guidelines today, they will later need to be endorsed by the European Council in June and formally adopted by the Council after that. The new integrated guidelines will apply over a three-year period, i.e. 2005-2008. In 2006 and 2007, updates of the guidelines could be issued if needed. The next set of new guidelines will be adopted at the beginning of the new three-year cycle in the summer of 2008.
What is the role of the guidelines?
The new integrated guidelines constitute the beginning of a new governance cycle and form the basis for Member States’ national Lisbon/Reform programmes. These will cover a period of three years and will spell out the action to be taken at the national level in order to achieve the Lisbon objectives of growth and jobs. While the guidelines will provide the basic structure for the presentation of national Lisbon programmes in the autumn, they leave sufficient scope for Member States to set national priorities according to their specific situations. The Commission is preparing a “guidance document” on the presentation and the content of the national Lisbon programmes. The involvement of relevant stakeholders at regional and national level, including parliaments, can help to raise awareness of the need for structural reforms, improve the quality of implementation and increase the sense of ownership of the Lisbon strategy. In order to enhance their internal coordination, Member States can choose to appoint a national Lisbon coordinator or “Mr/Ms Lisbon”.
Why do we need a new start for Lisbon?
 Communication to the Spring European Council: “Working together for Growth and Jobs: A new Start for the Lisbon Strategy”, Brussels, 2 February 2005, COM (2005) 24.
 Companion document to the Communication to the Spring European Council: “Lisbon Action Plan incorporating EU Lisbon programme and recommendations for actions to member states for inclusion in their national Lisbon programmes”, Brussels, 2 February 2005, SEC (2005) 192.