Europe 2020: A strategy for European Union growth


The European commission has come with a proposal for a political strategy for the European Union (E.U.) to grow, in different ways. In this blog we would like to inform you about this, seeing the fact that this can change our environment on the longer- term. Besides this, we just finished a project concerning the theme ‘Youth unemployment’, which is also involved in this new strategy.

A new political strategy for what exactly? There’s a proposal for a new strategy to support employment, productivity and social cohesion in Europe. At this moment, the E.U. faces a period of transformation, resulting mainly from globalization, climate changes and demographic ageing. The last years, the financial crisis has challenged the social and economic progress that was made by EU countries. Some countries suffered terribly from this situation and are still caught in a downward- spiral, while other countries are doing better now. In Germany and Lithuania for example, the situation is ( compared to the rest of the E.U. countries) alright. The economic recovery, which started in 2010, must be accompanied by a series of reforms in order to guarantee the sustainable development of the EU in the coming decade.

Three main- values/ priorities in the strategy, to achieve growth in the E.U., are:

*Smart; through the development of knowledge and innovation.

*Sustainable; based on a greener, more resource efficient and more competitive economy.

*Inclusive; aimed at strengthening employment, and social and territorial cohesion.

Targets set by the European commission, that should be achieved by 2020, are:
*Increasing the employment rate of the population aged 20-64 to 75 %

*Investing 3 % of gross domestic product (GDP) in research and development

*Reducing carbon emissions by 20 % (and by 30 % if conditions permit), increasing the share of renewable energies by 20 % and increasing energy efficiency by 20 %;

*Reducing the school drop out rate to less than 10 % and increasing the proportion of tertiary degrees to 40 %;

*Reducing the number of people threatened by poverty by 20 million.
The Commission presents seven flagship initiatives to be implemented at European level and in EU countries:

*The Innovation Union, to support the production of innovative products and services, in particular concerning climate change, energy efficiency, health and the ageing population

*The Youth on the move initiative, to enhance the performance of education systems, non-formal and informal learning, student and researcher mobility, but also young people’s entry to the labour market

*The Digital Agenda for Europe initiative, to promote the creation of a digital single market, characterized by a high level of trust and a clear legal framework. Furthermore, fast and subsequently ultra fast internet should be accessible to the population as a whole

*The Resource-efficient Europe initiative, to support the sustainable management of resources and the reduction of carbon emissions, while maintaining the competitiveness of the European economy and its energy security

*The industrial policy for the globalization era initiative, to help businesses to overcome the economic crisis, integrate into world trade and adopt more environmentally-friendly production methods

*The agenda for new skills and jobs, to improve employment and the sustainability of social models. The aim is to encourage the strategies of flexicurity, worker and student training, but also gender equality and the employment of older workers

*The European Platform against Poverty, to increase cooperation between EU countries, and to follow the open method of Coordination in the areas of social exclusion and social protection. The objective of the Platform is to be the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU, and the social inclusion of people experiencing poverty.

We will see what this new strategy (if approved) will bring Europe. Do you want to read more about this strategy? Go to: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm

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