Speech by President Luca JAHIER at the "Europe 2020" conference in Brussels on Monday 6 July 2015.
Currently under review, Europe 2020 is the EU's sole long-term strategy. Despite the fact that Europe is showing the first signs of slight economic recovery, the social crisis is still deepening. Europe has to find its way out and reinvent its jobs and growth strategy. Therefore the EESC is organizing a conference based on interactive stakeholders' involvement, with the focus on present and future social, economic and environmental challenges. This will be an occasion for policy makers and stakeholders to engage in a constructive debate in order to focus the reform efforts on making the EU more resilient.
Newsletter of the Various Interests Group of the EESC
Inaugural speech by President Luca JAHIER at the international conference: 'Towards a more effective Europe 2020: civil society's proposals for boosting social inclusion and competitiveness in Europe', held in Rome on 4 & 5 December 2014.
The Europe 2020 strategy's main problems can be seen in the areas of governance, the targets set, civil society participation and its implementation. The architecture of the strategy's governance has formalised a structural distortion in which economic aspects take precedence over social and environmental governance, subordinating the Europe 2020 targets to the macro-economic priorities of the European Semester. It is worrying that the Europe 2020 strategy does not involve organised civil society adequately, at either national or European level.
The Committee deems it necessary to promote a development model, where sustainable development is linked with the relevant Europe 2020 targets, in which the EU Member States, while continuing to pursue structural reforms geared to consolidating and ensuring the reliability of national finances, can - at the same time - support the implementation of policies that can: promote European competitiveness and its main stakeholders (workers, private businesses and social enterprises); promote the quantitative and qualitative growth of European investment (tangible, intangible and social); create more and better jobs; support social and territorial cohesion and address the problems related to high unemployment and rising levels of poverty and social exclusion.
The biggest challenge now facing Europe's economy is how to sustain the recovery that is now underway. This is the main message of the 2014 Annual Growth Survey (AGS). Its adoption kicks off the fourth European Semester of economic policy coordination in an environment where growth is beginning to return and Member States are making progress on correcting the imbalances that developed before the crisis.