Tuesday 5 October 2010

Europe 2020 strategy Press pack: Better, but still shotgun approach

What the Barroso II Commission has presented as its make of break challenges (raison d’être) are sound public finances and growth-enhancing reforms leading to new jobs. However, a long time has passed since formal endorsement of the Europe 2020 strategy by the European Council (17 June 2010; EUCO 13/10).

Since then the Commission as a body has done little to take ownership of or at least to communicate the developments concerning the Europe 2020 strategy (EU2020) in a holistic manner, as seen in yesterday’s blog post about the central web portal: Europe 2020 website: From deplorable to absolute disgrace (4 October 2010).

This morning, the latest unsorted updating link on the Commission’s central Europe 2020 strategy web page was still from 17 July 2010, regarding funding for research and innovation.

EU2020 Press pack

On selected wide themes the Commission offers Press packs. In this case there is a Press pack on offer: Europe 2020 – a new economic strategy.

It clearly beats the central Europe 2020 strategy website, as it contains recent speeches by Commissioners and other press releases relevant to the EU2020 theme.

I have picked some of the more interesting ones for EU2020 as a whole:

Vice-President of the European Commission and the Commissioner responsible for inter-institutional relations and administration Maroš ŠEFČOVIČ spoke at the EESC: The Commission programme and social players' ownership of the Europe 2020 Strategy (17 September 2010; Speech/10/460).

The president of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, spoke to the US Council on Foreign Relations: Stabilise, Consolidate, Reform: EU Moves from Crisis Management to Reform Agenda (23 September 2010; Speech/10/478).

The Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, addressed the Employment Committee of the European Parliament: 2011 Commission Work Programme (September 2010; Speech/10/512 30).

During the ongoing Open Days 2010 in Brussels, the European Week of Regions and Cities from 4 to 7 October 2010, 6,000 regional and local representatives meet under the headline Europe 2020: competitiveness, co-operation and cohesion for all regions.

The updated Press pack is better than the central EU2020 web page, which is dead as the dodo, but it still reflects a shotgun approach, without clear ownership.

Europe is worth something better.

Ralf Grahn

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