Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth are the passwords of Europe 2020, a 10-year strategy proposed by the European Commission on 3 March 2010 for advancement of the economy of the European Union.
Following the Lisbon Strategy for the period 2000–2010, Europe 2020 is the EU’s growth strategy
Set five ambitious objectives – employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy. Each member state choose its own national targets in each of these areas.
About the Targets:
- Employment – 75% of Europeans between the 20-64 year-olds have to be employed
- Research and Development – 3% of the EU’s GDP invested in R&D
- Climate change and energy sustainability – greenhouse gas emissions 20% lower than 1990, the 20% of energy to come from renewables and an increasing of the 20% in energy efficiency;
- Education – Reaching a reduction of the rates of early school leaving below 10% and at least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education;
- Fighting poverty and social exclusion – because 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
Most of the initiatives have been presented by the Commission in 2010. Within each initiative, both the EU and national authorities have to coordinate their efforts so they are mutually reinforcing.
Since 2008 substantial progress has been made both in the area of climate change and energy and in the area of education, while progress has been more limited for R&D expenditure, while the distance to the employment and poverty targets has increased.
Several obstacles have still to be addressed. Bottlenecks to cross-border activity, insufficiently interconnected networks uneven enforcement of single market rules, legal complexity from having up to 27 different sets of rules.
The European single market need to develop entrepreneurship, helping also small business to improve their access into the economic scene.
Increasing the competitiveness through the achievement of these goals would in turn foster efficiency by providing incentives and remaining profitable.
European Union has got less than five years to reach its targets, but also to get out of its crisis returning to be competitive in a global market redesigned by the emerging markets.
Will it win at least one of its challanges?