Launched by the European Commission in March 2010, following the Lisbon Strategy, Europe 2020 is the EU's growth strategy for the coming decade. Its priorities are three-fold: smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, all aiming to promote stable progress, high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion, and to secure Europe´s position in the world.
A coherent multi-annual program, the strategy relies upon greater coordination of national and European policy. For decades EU policies have been developed in a strict EU framework primarily concentrated in Brussels. In spite of increasing European convergence important gaps remained between EU policy making and national policies and practices.
Europe 2020 focuses on bridging these gaps. It intends to commit Member States more closely to the EU, also in areas which until recently were exclusively national, and include participation of society at large.
The strategy sets five headline targets to be reached by 2020:
To this end, each Member State set out specific medium-term budgetary strategies (a Stability or Convergence Programme), and a set of actions to be undertaken in areas such as employment, research, innovation, energy or social inclusion (a National Reform Programme). Every year in April these two documents are sent to the Commission for a thorough assessment.
Following this assessment the Commission delivers a set of 27 country-specific recommendations (in 2011 published on 7 June).
Country-specific recommendations 2011
The progress of the strategy is monitored in the framework of the "European semester", an annual cycle of economic and fiscal policy coordination which takes into consideration macro-economic factors, growth-enhancing reforms and public finances.
ESC & EESC Works
Search the CESlink documents' database for Europe 2020 opinions, reports and other documents of the national Economic and social councils in the EU (all EU languages)
Evaluation of the National Reform Programme 2011-2014 – OKE, June 2011
Europe 2020 – The new Lisbon Strategy (own-initiative opinion) – OKE, April 2010