Europe 2020 – A new growth and employment framework for the EU

In June 2010 the European Council adopted "Europe 2020", providing the new framework for the EU’s growth and employment policy. The Europe 2020 strategy is a consistent development step ahead from the Lisbon strategy, focusing on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It defines the key aspects of the economic agenda for the next decade.

Against the backdrop of an aging population, declining international competitiveness and increasing pressure on public finances, it has quickly become clear that there is a need for closer economic policy coordination with a view to enhancing economic growth potential in the EU and its Member States. This is especially true within the euro area. The new strategy thus is centered on enhanced, integrated surveillance of fiscal policies, macroeconomic management and structural reforms.

Key elements of the new Europe 2020 strategy

  • Clear priorities: The Europe 2020 growth strategy focuses on three areas: smart, sustainable and inclusive growth for a European social market economy in the 21st century.
    For further information see: Priorities
  • Introduction of the EU-wide, quantified key targets: Political goals and progress become binding and visible – EU-wide and at the national level.
    For further information see: Five key targets for Europe and Austria
  • Effective implementation of the strategy: Each country sets its own targets and informs about the economic policy measures accomplishing the targets in a National Reform Programme (NRP).
    For further information see: National Reform Programme
  • Stronger economic policy coordination and political commitment: To strengthen economic surveillance, a governance tool called the European semester was set up.


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