Addressing 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 of the Lisbon Treaty forces in 2009 and while talks 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 elements of context 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 has destroyed many jobs, revealed some structural weaknesses of European economies and the European mortgaged investment capacity 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 rates in the EU, and the acceleration of the aging population.
- In parallel, a number of 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 behavior that still govern the global financial system, and the challenges of climate and resources, including energy.
- The risk of decline: the finding of extremely strong interdependencies within the EU requires a much greater internal coordination for the EU to take up. Moreover, it should give the ability to be an added value in the international arena if it wants to continue to exist against the affirmation of emerging countries. "Europe must make clear choices, but challenging" thus seeking to achieve sustainable recovery scenario.
- Making our way out of a crisis point of entry 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 high social cohesion.
Once the context is established, the strategy is based on three mutually reinforcing priorities and seven flagship initiatives that result. These priorities must achieve five major objectives by 2020. The architecture of the Europe 2020 strategy is presented in the table below to download:
To borrow a formulation of the Commission document, this strategy must lay the groundwork for what could be the European social market economy of the XXI century.
3. Blockages to remove: continuity and deepening of the logic driven 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, the legal system for remedies, administrative and fiscal barriers, the supervision of financial markets are all topics on which the EU must work to streamline the single market.
On the means at its disposal, the mobilization of cohesion policy and its implementation in line with the objectives supported by the EUROPE 2020 Strategy to facilitate investment 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. This is why the mobilization of external trade policy instruments are subject to special attention. The conclusion of bilateral or multilateral negotiations, trade openness in the growth areas in the WTO and the establishment of a strategic dialogue with the main trading partners of the EU are all fundamental tools highlighted in the Europe 2020 strategy and 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 focus on coordinated and gradual withdrawal of fiscal stimulus and mechanisms of assistance to financial institutions, sectors in difficulty, people (unemployment) to investors.
One of the major issues is the implementation of the G20 commitments to restore the strength, stability and health of the financial sector by reforming the financial system, coaching and providing the means for a policy that allows anticipate and manage possible future financial crises.
To restore sustainable growth, sound public finances is a major issue. The Pact of Stability and Growth and deficits limited to 3% of GDP is 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 the breakdown 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 field of taxation, raising the tax level is expected to shift the tax burden from labor to energy and the environment by promoting environmentally friendly 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 instability in the euro zone,
- 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 qualitative leap represented by the integration of governance mechanisms in this text, and drew the lessons of the weaknesses of the Lisbon.
To get results, tangible, new mechanisms have been developed to ensure that all players take their 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 sections 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 make them a political warning.
This evaluation mechanism to the States to face their responsibility to hold them accountable to their peers each year goal. The Commission has also set up a system of indicators to measure continuously the 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 issued 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 check the transformation of the recommendations of the Commission relevant budget lines. This cycle monitoring is intended to help strengthen coordination within the Economic and Monetary Union.
To go further:
The website of the Commission on Europe 2020
The " European Semester "