EUR/007 - Progress on implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy

20 Feb 2015
Adopted References: EESC-2015-00034-00-01-ac Exploratory Opinion Rapporteur: Etele BARÁTH (Various interests - GR III / Hungary) Plenary Session: 505 - 18 Feb 2015 - 19 Feb 2015 (Summary Plenary Session) OJ C 251, 31.7.2015, p. 19–24
Progress made on implementing the Europe 2020 strategy and how to achieve its targets by 2020

EESC opinion: EUR/007 - Progress on implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy

The EESC agrees with the Latvian Presidency, recognizing the fundamental importance of the EU 2020 Strategy review to boosting European competitiveness. The Europe 2020 and the Investment Plan should be much more closely linked in the way that it could remedy the main shortcomings of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Structural Funds should focus more on the implementation of environmental programs or those with a human aspect, which would also promote the sustainable development of factors "beyond GDP".

Key points

  • The EESC agrees with the Latvian Presidency, recognising the fundamental importance of the EU 2020 Strategy review to boosting European competitiveness. The Committee supports the direct link made between improved European competitiveness and the "Digital Agenda for Europe" flagship initiative.
  • The EESC is in favour of improving the Digital Single Market Package and considers that securing the European Union's digital future is one of the main pillars supporting the competitiveness of the European economy and determining the sustainable development of an environment-friendly European society.
  • The Investment Plan should be much more closely linked with the growth and jobs strategy; in the way that it could remedy the main shortcomings of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and the new financial instruments increase the chance of implementing its objectives.
  • Due to changing priorities and in order to ensure successful implementation of the EU 2020 Strategy, it would useful to have a "one-stop shop" able to ensure effective coordination and rationalisation of tasks and procedures related to policy implementation, and this includes EU agencies.
  • The Europe 2020 strategy (and then Europe 2030) should be the central concept underpinning the EU’s economic, social and territorial strategies in the long term, taking into account the range of differing situations in the Member States.