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   Europe 2020 Economic strategy


Europe 2020 strategy

The Europe 2020 strategy put forward by the Commission sets out a vision of Europe's social market economy for the 21st century. It shows how the EU can come out stronger from the crisis and how it can be turned into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.


The Europe 2020 Strategy sets out a vision for Europe's social market economy over the next decade, and rests on three interlocking and mutually reinforcing priority areas:

1.     Smart growth, developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation;

2.     Sustainable growth, promoting a low-carbon, resource-efficient and competitive economy;

3.     Inclusive growth, fostering a high-employment economy delivering social and territorial cohesion.


Progress towards these objectives will be measured against five representative headline EU-level targets, which Member States will be asked to translate into national targets reflecting starting points:

·          75 % of the population aged 20-64 should be employed.

·          3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D.

·          The "20/20/20" climate/energy targets should be met.

·          The share of early school leavers should be under 10% and at least 40% of the younger generation should have a degree or diploma. .

·          20 million less people should be at risk of poverty.


In order to meet the targets, the Commission proposes a Europe 2020 agenda consisting of a series of flagship initiatives. Implementing these initiatives is a shared priority, and action will be required at all levels: EU-level organisations, Member States, local and regional authorities.

·          Innovation union - re-focussing R&D and innovation policy on major challenges, while closing the gap between science and market to turn inventions into products. As an example, the Community Patent could save companies 289€ million each year.

·          Youth on the move - enhancing the quality and international attractiveness of Europe's higher education system by promoting student and young professional mobility. As a concrete action, vacancies in all Member States should be more accessible through out Europe and professional qualifications and experience properly recognised.

·          A digital agenda for Europe - delivering sustainable economic and social benefits from a Digital Single Market based on ultra fast internet. All Europeans should have access to high speed internet by 2013.

·          Resource-efficient Europe - supporting the shift towards a resource efficient and low-carbon economy. Europe should stick to its 2020 targets in terms of energy production, efficiency and consumption. This would result in €60 billion less in oil and gas imports by 2020.

·          An industrial policy for green growth – helping the EU's industrial base to be competitive in the post-crisis world, promoting entrepreneurship and developing new skills. This would create millions of new jobs ;

·          An agenda for new skills and jobs – creating the conditions for modernising labour markets, with a view to raising employment levels and ensuring the sustainability of our social models, while baby-boomers retire ; and

·          European platform against poverty - ensuring economic, social and territorial cohesion by helping the poor and socially excluded and enabling them to play an active part in society.

The ambition of Europe 2020 means that leadership and accountability must be taken to a new level.

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