Wednesday 16 June 2010

Background note European Council 17 June 2010: Europe 2020 strategy

As we have seen during the course of several blog entries, the draft agendas and the General Affairs Council (GAC) were not particularly informative. The draft conclusions of the European Council are kept under wraps. A short while ago, the only document (admittedly) submitted to the European Council was the annotated draft agenda from 7 May. No clarifying background notes had been published.

The human, budget and communication resources of the European Union’s institutions must truly be overextended, when they leave it to private citizens to supplement their work by producing background notes for the 17 June 2010 summit of European leaders.

Spring European Council

At the European Council Thursday, 17 June 2010, the heads of state or government will return to the Europe 2020 strategy for jobs and growth.

Commission proposal Europe 2020

Those who want to put matters into perspective can go back to the proposal made by the European Commission:

Communication from the Commission: EUROPE 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; Brussels, 3.3.2010 COM(2010) 2020 final (35 pages)

Five headline targets proposed

The five headline targets proposed by the Commission for the Europe 2020 strategy were (page 32):

Raise the employment rate of the population aged 20-64 from the current 69% to at least 75%.

Achieve the target of investing 3% of GDP in R&D in particular by improving the conditions for R&D investment by the private sector, and develop a new indicator to track innovation.

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% compared to 1990 levels or by 30% if the conditions are right, increase the share of renewable energy in our final energy consumption to 20%, and achieve a 20% increase in energy efficiency.

Reduce the share of early school leavers to 10% from the current 15% and increase the share of the population aged 30-34 having completed tertiary education from 31% to at least 40%.

Reduce the number of Europeans living below national poverty lines by 25%, lifting 20 million people out of poverty.

The next posts will present agreed headline targets and preparatory work for the Europe 2020 issue at the 17 June 2010 European Council.

Ralf Grahn

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