EU 2020 Strategy
The European strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth proposed five headline targets to be achieved by 2020:
- 75 per cent employment (ages 20-64)
- three per cent EU GDP investment in research and development
- achievement of the 20/20/20 climate targets: a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, 20 per cent of energy to be sourced from renewables, and a 20 per cent increase in energy efficiency
- 40 per cent of people between 30 and 34 to have a tertiary degree. A reduction of those leaving school early to below 10 per cent
- 20 million fewer people in poverty, or at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
For the voluntary and community sector, the inclusion of a poverty target represents a huge step forward and a departure from the focus of the previous economic growth strategy (the Lisbon Strategy).
Europe 2020 sets out seven flagship initiatives to help achieve its targets:
- a digital agenda for Europe
- Innovation union
- Youth on the move
- a resource efficient Europe
- an industrial policy for the globalisation era
- an agenda for new skills and jobs
- the European platform against poverty
European platform against poverty and social exclusion
One flagship initiative, the European platform against poverty, encourages those in poverty to take an active part in society. With more than 80 million people in the EU at risk of poverty – including 20 million children and eight per cent of the working population – the European platform against poverty and social exclusion sets out actions to reach the EU target by 2020 to reduce poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million.
The European Social Fund and Progress programmes are funds that help vulnerable groups gain access to employment and social protection.
In 2014 the European Commission reviewed the Europe 2020 Strategy and assessed its progress.