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Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth

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 priorities:

  • Smart growth: developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation.
  • 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 degree.
  • 20 million less people should be at risk of poverty.


Author
European Commission (EU2020)

 


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