1 October 2012
Europe 2020 Strategy
Past trends and latest data for the headline indicators of the Europe 2020 strategy
The Europe 2020 strategy1, adopted by the European Council in June 2010, aims at establishing a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. The key objectives of the strategy are expressed in the form of five targets on employment, research & development, climate change & energy, education and poverty & social exclusion. These targets are monitored on the basis of headline indicators that Eurostat2 compiles and publishes.
Today, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, issues a short publication3 presenting past trends and latest data for each of the headline indicators of the strategy at EU and Member State level.
EU27 employment rate at 68.6% in 2011
The first key objective of the Europe 2020 strategy is to increase employment. The target to be reached by 2020 is an employment rate4 of 75% among those aged 20 to 64 in the EU27. This rate rose from 66.6% in 2000 to 70.3% in 2008 and then, following the economic crisis, fell to 68.6% in 2011.
Share of GDP spent on R&D in the EU27 at 2% in 2010
The second key objective is to increase investment in research and development (R&D). The target to be reached in the EU27 by 2020 is a 3% share of GDP invested in R&D. This share has grown from 1.86% in 2000 to 2.00% in 2010.
Three headline indicators on climate change and energy
The third key objective refers to climate change and energy, and has three elements: a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; an increase in the share of renewable energy sources in final energy consumption; and an increase in energy efficiency.
For greenhouse gas emissions, the target for 2020 for the EU27 is a reduction of 20% compared with the level of 1990. These emissions have decreased steadily since 1990, with a sharp drop in the period 2008 to 2010, a period corresponding to the economic crisis. By 2010, emissions had declined by 15% compared with 1990.
For renewable energy, the target to be reached by 2020 is a share of 20% renewable energy use in gross final energy consumption in the EU27. This share has grown steadily from 8.1% in 2004 to 12.5% in 2010.
For energy efficiency, the target for 2020 for the EU27 is a primary energy consumption of 1 474 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mTOE). This level fluctuated from 1 560 mTOE in 1990 to 1 650 mTOE in 2010.
Proportion of early school leavers in the EU27 at 13.5% in 2011
The fourth key objective of the Europe 2020 strategy is a decrease of early school leavers and an increase in persons having completed tertiary education.
For early school leavers, the target for 2020 for the EU27 is to reduce the share of the population aged 18-24 with at most lower secondary education and not currently in further education or training to below 10%. This share has decreased continuously from 17.6% in 2000 to 13.5% in 2011.
For tertiary education, the target for 2020 is to increase the share of those aged 30 to 34 in the EU27 having completed tertiary education to 40% or more. This share has increased steadily from 22.4% in 2000 to 34.6% in 2011.
Almost 116 million persons affected by poverty or social exclusion in the EU27 in 2010
The fifth key objective is a reduction of poverty, including monetary poverty, material deprivation and lack of access to the labour market. The target for 2020 is to reduce the number of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU27, meaning those affected by at least one of the three dimensions of poverty, by 20 million persons. This number has decreased from 123.9 million in 2005 to 113.8 mn in 2009, but then rose to 115.7 mn in 2010.
Europe 2020 strategy indicators, EU27
Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (% of GDP)
Climate change & energy
Poverty or social exclusion
: Data not available
1. For more information on the Europe 2020 strategy: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm.
2. For more information on the dedicated section of the Eurostat website:
3. Eurostat, Statistics in Focus, 39/2012, "Europe 2020 Strategy – towards a smarter, greener and more inclusive EU economy?" available free of charge in pdf format on the Eurostat web site. Link to Statistics Explained article: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Europe_2020_headline_indicators
4. The employment rate is calculated by dividing the number of persons aged 20-64 in employment by the total population of the same age group.
Issued by: Eurostat Press Office
Tel: +352-4301-33 444
For further information about the data:
Tel: +352-4301-36 107
Eurostat news releases on the internet: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat