The Europe 2020 strategy

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The Europe 2020 strategy sets out growth targets to which all structural fund programmes must be linked.

The strategy is based on three overarching priorities that are mutually reinforcing:

  • Smart growth – developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation.
  • Sustainable growth – promoting a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy.
  • Inclusive growth – fostering a high-employment economy delivering social and territorial cohesion.

The EU has set out five specific targets for the next ten years:

  • Employmen
    - 75 percent of 20-64 year-olds to be employed.
  • Research and development
    - 3 percent of the EU's GDP to be invested in R&D.
  • Climate change and energy sustainability
    - Greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent lower than 1990.
    - 20 percent of energy from renewables.
    - 20 percent increase in energy efficiency.
  • Education  
    - Reducing the rates of early school leaving to below 10 percent.
    - At least 40 percent of 30-34-year-olds completing third level education.
  • Fighting poverty and social exclusion
    - At least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion.