Address the weaknesses of the Lisbon strategy and confront the crisis.
The Europe 2020 Strategy was adopted by the European Council on 17 June 2010. Result of a consultation launched in November 2009, the strategy developed by the European Commission following the Lisbon and is the roadmap for the EU somehow until 2020.
1. The context
2020 was designed to meet the urgency of the crisis and its social consequences while proposing a strategy for long-term growth. It also aims to fill a number of gaps that had not allowed the Lisbon Strategy to achieve the objectives including providing outsourced to a new thematic importance of governance.
Moreover, the Europe 2020 strategy should be analyzed in light of a changing European context following the adoption strength of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, while discussions on a permanent Fund Help the Euro Zone are being gradually change but deep European institutions and prerogatives.
2. A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
The Europe 2020 strategy first introduced all of contextual elements that can account for the spirit in which this strategy was designed. Emphasizing the transformation period in which we live, several observations are made:
- The impact of the crisis that destroyed many jobs, revealed some structural weaknesses of European economies and mortgaged European investment capabilities in the years to come.
- Structural weaknesses updates are: the widening of the productivity gap between the European area and its major trading partners, and the low employment rate in the EU, the acceleration of the aging population.
- In parallel, several global challenges are acute in EU economies increasingly interdependent in a context of increased competition on a global scale imbalances, the short-term and speculative behaviors still govern the global financial system, the challenges of climate and resources, including energy.
- The risk of decline: the finding of extremely strong interdependencies within the EU requires a much larger internal coordination to pull the EU up. Moreover, it must give the capacity to be an added value on the international stage if it wants to continue to exist against the affirmation of emerging countries. "Europe must make clear choices, but challenging" thus seeking to realize the scenario of sustainable recovery.
- Making our way out of crisis an entry point into a new economy based on its strengths and its proven ability to address the challenges posed by major events capacity, the EU has undeniable assets to build an economy smart, sustainable and inclusive levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.
Once the context is set, the strategy is based on three mutually reinforcing priorities and seven flagship initiatives that result. These priorities must achieve five key goals by 2020. The architecture of the Europe 2020 strategy is presented in the table below to download:
To borrow a formulation of the document of the Commission, this strategy must lay the foundations of what could be the social European market economy of the XXI century.
3. Blockages to remove: deepening and continuity logic carried by the single market
The Europe 2020 strategy is the realization of a single market is slowing and proposes to continue and strengthen the integration of the European market by removing a number of barriers and maintaining a strong competition policy. It is both the single market to adapt to an economy increasingly based on services and information technology and communication. The translation of contracts, the patent system, legal systems for remedies, administrative and fiscal barriers, the supervision of financial markets are all themes on which the EU must work to streamline the single market.
Concerning the means at its disposal, the mobilization of cohesion policy and its implementation in line with the objectives supported by the EUROPE 2020 Strategy must afford to invest in a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth while addressing the fragmentation of instruments European funding. In addition, new financial instruments must be designed, including reliance on the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund and the private sector to find the resources needed to implement the European ambitions in a context limited financial resources. Finally the creation of a European market for effective risk capital should facilitate access to capital for businesses and encourage innovation.
Finally, it is clear that the return to growth can not rely solely on the domestic market, on the contrary. That is why the mobilization of external trade policy instruments are subject to special attention. The conclusion of multilateral or bilateral negotiations, trade openness in promising sectors in the WTO and the establishment of a strategic dialogue with the main economic partners of the EU are all fundamental tools highlighted in the Europe 2020 strategy and on which leans the business strategy of the EU prepared by the Commission and presented in November 2010.
4. The recommendations to emerge from the crisis: tame the financial markets, the vicious circle of debt
To achieve the goals set for 2020, it is first necessary to leave the European economies from the crisis. It is sort of a prerequisite, otherwise it will be difficult to move forward in the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy. The first recommendations concern the coordinated and gradual withdrawal of fiscal stimulus and mechanisms of aid to financial institutions, sectors in difficulty, people (unemployment), to investors.
A major challenge remains implementation of the G20 commitments to restore the strength, stability and health of the financial sector by reforming the financial system, framing and providing the means of a policy that allows anticipate and manage possible future financial crises.
To find sustainable growth, sound public finances is a major issue. The Pact of Stability and Growth and deficits limited to 3% of GDP still the framework imposed in this area. It seems clear that some difficult choices in terms of priorities will be needed: in this context, the quality and distribution of public spending are central, as is the role of public procurement. In addition, the consolidation of public finances will be possible only to the extent that it will be accompanied by structural reforms, particularly in the area of pensions, health and social protection systems and education.
Moreover, in the area of taxation, raising the tax level is expected to shift the tax burden from labor to energy and the environment by encouraging ecological tax systems.
Finally making the finding of a necessary deepening of coordination within the Economic and Monetary Union, the Commission undertakes to make proposals on:
- A monitoring framework for the enlarged euro area, beyond budgetary discipline would be extended to macroeconomic imbalances and competitiveness developments,
- A framework to respond to imminent threats of financial destabilization of the euro area,
- An appropriate external representation of the euro area.
5. Governance of the Europe 2020 strategy
During the presentation of the Europe 2020 Strategy in Marseille, Anne Houbtmann, the Commission representative in France, had long insisted on novelty and the qualitative leap that represented the integration of governance mechanisms in this text, and which drew the lessons weaknesses of the Lisbon Strategy.
To get results, tangible, new mechanisms have been defined to ensure that all stakeholders take responsibility in the implementation of this strategy.
The thematic approach around the flagship initiatives will double the preparation of country reports which will be detailed elements of responses to identified blockages and exit strategy from crisis (corresponding to parts 3 and 4 of the strategy). An evaluation system was put in place, it provides such a joint analysis of country reports and commitments made in the Pact of Stability and Growth, thereby coupling the budget issue with macroeconomic issues and the establishment structural reform.
A reduced set of guidelines will replace the existing 24.
Recommendations will be made on the basis of the analysis of country reports. If states do not follow these recommendations, the Commission may address their political warning.
This evaluation mechanism put states face their responsibility to hold them accountable to their peers each year goal. The Commission has also set up a system of indicators to evaluate the ongoing implementation of the strategy.
The European Parliament, national parliaments, local and regional authorities and citizens are also encouraged to take responsibility and be part of the dynamic range of this strategy to achieve the proposed objectives.
The Commission has already published a very brief first evaluation report for 2010, of course, but gives a first indication of the willingness to follow the strategy.
Finally, Mr. Van Rompuy has decided to establish a European Semester, which would each year from March to July to verify the transformation of the recommendations of the Commission relevant budget lines. This cycle monitoring aims to contribute to strengthening coordination within the Economic and Monetary Union.
To go further:
The website of the Commission on Europe 2020
The " European Semester "