Europe 2020 Strategy

Europe 2020: European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth

The Europe 2020 strategy represents the main economic reform agenda for the European Union with a view to the year 2020. It replaces the so-called Lisbon Strategy, whose timeline expired in 2010.

The Strategy's proclaimed goal and its subtitle is to achieve economic growth which will be founded on the principles of a knowledge economy, will be sustainable and will support both social and geographic integration. As the main economic strategy for the EU for the next 10 years, it inherently implies that this will affect a large part of sector policies and their fulfilment will have wide-ranging impacts for the economic and social environment in individual Member States.

The Strategy's national overlap is also evident from the national goals, which Member States were called on to set by the European Council on 17 June 2010. Among the Strategy's targets, 5 main goals were raised up, which were set for the EU as a whole. All 5 main goals were approved by the European Council on 17 June 2010. At the same time, Member States were called upon to set national goals analogous to the Strategy's main goals, and that policies and tools necessary for the fulfilment of these goals on their level be implemented.

The Strategy's main goals are as follows:

1. Efforts to achieve 75 % employment for women and men from ages 20 to 64, including through increased participation by young people, older workers and workers with lower qualifications and improved integration of legal immigrants;

2. Improved conditions for research and development, especially with a goal of ensuring that public and private investment in this sector reach a total of 3 % of GDP. The Commission will create indicators which will express the intensity of research and development and innovation;

3. Cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % compared to 1990 levels and an increase in the share of energy from renewable resources in the end consumption of energy to 20 % and a shift to increasing energy efficiency by 20 %;

4. Improving the level of education, especially an effort to decrease the level of early ending of school attendance to below 10 % and to increase the level of persons aged 30-34 with completed tertiary or comparable education to at least 40 %;

5. Support for social inclusion, especially through decreasing poverty, in an effort to decrease the number of people threatened by poverty or exclusion by at least 20 million.

In keeping with the conclusions of the European Council from July 2010, Member States should set national goals in cooperation with the European Commission and with a view to Member States' individual economic and social specificities. With a view to consultations with the European Commission on the form of the Czech Republic's national goals and the commitments flowing from the Conclusions of the European Council from 26 March 2010 and taking into account domestic economic, social and political situations and meetings between the three governing parties, the government passed on 7 July 2010 certain quantified national main goals and sub-goals of the Europe 2010 strategy. These goals were later expanded on 1 September 2010, when the Committee for the European Union approved national goals in the area of social inclusion and poverty reduction.