Over the last two years, we have faced the world's worst economic crisis since the 1930s. This crisis has reversed much of the progress achieved in Europe since 2000. We are now facing high levels of unemployment, sluggish structural growth and excessive levels of debt. The economic situation is improving, but the recovery is still fragile. At the same time, the world is moving fast and long-term challenges – globalisation, pressure on resources, climate change, ageing – are intensifying.
Europe can succeed if it acts collectively, as a Union. 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. To deliver rapid and lasting results, stronger economic
governance will be required.
Europe 2020 puts forward three mutually reinforcing
- Smart growth: developing an economy based on knowledge and
- Sustainable growth: promoting a more resource efficient,
greener and more competitive economy.
- Inclusive growth: fostering a high-employment economy
delivering social and territorial cohesion.
The EU needs to define where it wants to be by 2020. To this end,
the Commission proposes the following EU headline targets:
- 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
(including an increase to 30% of emissions reduction if the
conditions are right).
- The share of early school leavers should be under 10% and at
least 40% of the younger generation should have a tertiary
- 20 million less people should be at risk of poverty.
European Commission (EU2020)