Monday 28 June 2010

Europe 2020 strategy: Innovation Union - preparation and communication

There is a link to the European Council’s conclusions [to be adopted] 17 June 2010, but otherwise the European Commission’s central website for the Europe 2020 strategy for jobs and growth is still as dead as the dodo.

While waiting for the Commission, the Council, the European Parliament and the member states to start communicating the Europe 2020 strategy in earnest, we continue looking for elements of the flagship initiative Innovation Union.

We already looked at Innovation Union in the light of the Commission’s communication on the Europe 2020 strategy: COM(2010) 2020 final.

With China about to close the innovation performance gap in ten years, one would expect the European leaders to be shaken as well as stirred into action. The Commission’s Work Programme (CWP) for 2010, and especially the so called Roadmap published by the Impact Assessment Board (IAB) on the initiative Research and Innovation Plan added useful elements to our knowledge.

DG Enterprise and Industry

The home page of the European Commission’s Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry offers two links to the Europe 2020 strategy.

The text link takes us to a page with a general description, which mentions the European Council 26 March 2010. It offers a further link to the central Europe 2020 web page we already gave a preliminary death certificate.

The graphic link of DG Enterprise takes us directly to the central Europe 2020 web page, but naturally the contents remain the same.

Do we fare any better if we look under Innovation policies? Future EU innovation policies catches our eye.

Yes, we do find materials on preceding public consultations held in 2009, but nothing really new or concrete about the European plan for innovation (Innovation Union) being prepared for presentation in the autumn 2010.

The website of commissioner Antonio Tajani does not add anything on EU2020.

DG Enterprise and Industry should start communicating comprehensively on the preparation of the flagship initiative Innovation Union.

DG Research

The home page of DG Research tells us that commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn arranged a webcast for EU citizens about Innovation Union 17 June 2010. She discussed with participants in an open and convincing manner, and she has promised to post answers to frequently asked questions she was unable to reply to during the webcast.

There is also a frequently updated Innovation Union Facebook page and a group with 318 members.

This is a good start, and the use of interactive communication and social media is promising.

Still, the Press centre and the Facebook group offer mainly disparate news “shrapnel”. The next step could be to create well structured thematic pages for Innovation Union and to contribute to turning the central Europe 2020 web page into a constantly updated website.

Ralf Grahn


  1. It's a promising start. I really would like to see the EU start structuring EU-wide discussions among stakeholders about how to build a better Europe for 2020. Rather than just make the decisions and inform, it looks like here they are trying to better understand the options and begin to foster informed debate.

  2. Linda Margaret,

    I agree with you. DG Research is showing the way for other Commission services, EU institutions and Council presidencies.

    Preparation and communication need to go hand in hand, so I hope for the next positive steps from DG Research.

    As earlier posts have shown, EU 2020 is at the core of work and communication plans, so it really needs a dedicated and comprehensive website, constantly updated.


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