Europe 2020 strategy

The Europe 2020 strategy is the successor to the Lisbon agenda for growth and jobs. There are three priorities, five headline targets and seven flagship initiatives.

Priorities, headline targets and flagship initiatives

Access the European Commission's Europe2020 website for more information.


There are three priorities:

  1. smart growth – developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation
  2. sustainable growth – promoting a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy
  3. inclusive growth – fostering a high-employment economy delivering economic, social and territorial cohesion

Headline targets 

The five headline targets are:

  1. the employment rate of the population aged 20-64 should increase to 75 per cent
  2. three per cent of the EU’s GDP should be invested in research and development
  3. the ‘20/20/20’ climate/energy targets should be met (including an increase to 30 per cent of emissions reduction if the conditions are right)
  4. the share of early school leavers should be under 10 per cent and at least 40 per cent of the younger generation should have a tertiary degree
  5. 20m fewer people should be at risk of poverty

Flagship initiatives

Seven flagship initiatives are proposed by the commission to catalyse progress under each priority theme:

  1. Innovation union to improve framework conditions and access to finance for research and innovation to ensure that innovative ideas can be turned into products and services that create growth and jobs
  2. Youth on the move to enhance the performance of education systems and to facilitate the entry of young people to the labour market
  3. A digital agenda for Europe to speed up the roll-out of high-speed internet and reap the benefits of a digital single market for households and firms
  4. Resource efficient Europe to help decouple economic growth from the use of resources, support the shift towards a low carbon economy, increase the use of renewable energy sources, modernise our transport sector and promote energy efficiency
  5. An industrial policy for the globalisation era to improve the business environment, notably for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to support the development of a strong and sustainable industrial base able to compete globally
  6. An agenda for new skills and jobs to modernise labour markets and empower people by developing their skills throughout the lifecycle with a view to increase labour participation and better match labour supply and demand, including through labour mobility
  7. European platform against poverty to ensure social and territorial cohesion such that the benefits of growth and jobs are widely shared and people experiencing poverty and social exclusion are enabled to live in dignity and take an active part in society

Integrated economic and employment guidelines and a ‘European Economic Semester’ have been agreed for the implementation and monitoring of the policy. More information can be found on the European Commission website.

You can contact the DoF European Division for further information.

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