Strategy "Europe 2020" (Communication)
The strategy „Europe 2020“ replaces the failed strategy of Lisbon and is to „turn“ the EU into a „smart, sustainable and inclusive economy“ delivering “high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion”. The Commission is setting five headline targets to be attained by 2020 with the highest priority being smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The European Council has approved three of the five key targets, but strongly mitigated the other two. Moreover, the Commission is putting forward seven flagship initiatives which are to “commit both the EU and the Member States” and to be pursued by the Commission and the Member States. The Commission intends to monitor progress of target achievement by reports to be provided by the Member States.
The strategy „Europe 2020“ constitutes the beginning of a European economic governance with sharp interventionist traits in terms of industrial policy interests. For four out of five key targets however – namely employment policy, R&D, educational policy and the fight against poverty – concerted action at EU level is not at all justified, as it does not generate any added value compared to national solutions and even might restrict institutional competition. Furthermore, many of the proposals made under the headline initiatives could lead to inefficient outcomes.