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Smart and inclusive growth

Europe 2020: what macro and micro actions needed to promote smart and inclusive growth simultaneously

Key points:

  • The EESC feels that the triple objective of the Europe 2020 strategy, i.e., smart, sustainable and inclusive-cohesive growth, is generally appropriate; however, in order to achieve it, a well-balanced macroeconomic policy mix and structural reforms together with more and better instruments are needed.
  • The EU needs to show that it has the necessary political will and a specific vision of substantially closer integration.
  • Implementation of measures such as a European banking union, together with the issuance of project bonds, should be accelerated. The role of the European Central Bank should be strengthened.
  • Cohesion policy must not remain purely focused on boosting the economy and competitiveness. All the funds and programmes should be more tailored to the social goals of the Europe 2020 strategy such as job creation, social services, combating poverty, education and training, etc.
  • If extended to other common European objectives, and with the involvement of private-sector funding too, the Connecting Europe Facility could be a good example of closer integration.
  • Work on drawing up a European Territorial Strategy must be accelerated.
  • It is vital to ensure much broader involvement of experts and public opinion in preparing decisions. We therefore suggest defining a 12th thematic objective in the Common Strategic Framework, in order to strengthen "communication and social dialogue".