Europe 2020 – Delivering a brighter future

 

“Europe 2020: one year on, nine to go”

“We are on the right track.”

“It’s a challenging time for Europe and also for the European Commission.”

said José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, Bruxelles, 15 March 2011

The Commission has been at the forefront of developing a collective European response to the crisis, and there is still much to do. We urgently need to draw a line under this crisis and build a strong and sustainable recovery in Europe. We need banks that are able to lend and governments that are able to borrow; companies that are willing to invest and consumers who are willing to spend; bold reforms at a national level and enhanced cooperation and governance at a European level.

A year ago we set out our ambitious goals for the European Union in the coming decade and laid them out in the “Europe 2020 Strategy” targeted on obtaining smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Since then, we have translated those objectives into more focused initiatives and specific blueprints in order to reach our aim: good jobs, higher living standards, and a better quality of life for all Europeans.

Europe cannot afford to be complacent. We need to finally deliver on the reforms we have pledged to do.

Europe 2020 shies away from overambitious claims and unrealistic deadlines and puts forward demanding but achievable goals. Member States now commit to structural reforms in a concrete macro-economic and fiscal context and in the framework of strengthened economic governance for the euro area and for all European Union Member States.

We have learned our lessons.
We have clear targets.
We have the seven flagship initiatives.
We have a strengthened governance structure, including the European Semester.
And above all, we have a new awareness that we can no longer duck difficult decisions.

It is our collective responsibility to make the next 9 years much brighter.

The Annual Growth Survey adopted by the Commission at the beginning of 2011, clearly articulates 10 actions for urgent action over the next 12 months, all anchored in “Europe 2020’” They are intended to promote fiscal consolidation, correct macro-economic imbalances, and ensure financial stability – all prerequisites for sound growth. But they also aim to mobilize labour markets, create job opportunities, tap the potential of the Single Market, attract private capital and facilitate cost-effective access to energy.

We need to go out and make the case for reform not just in Brussels but across Europe. Together, we need to foster a sense of ownership of the Europe 2020 Strategy among all stakeholders across the Union. And we need to show doubters that their concerns are best met by embracing the objectives enshrined in the Europe 2020 Strategy for growth and jobs. But not for any kind of growth. We need to take into account social issues and environmental sustainability and we need innovation. We need inclusive, green and smart growth.

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