Edition 107 - March 2010

Europe 2020: little progress on strategy for growth and jobs

At the meeting of the European Council of 25 and 26 March, Europe’s heads of state and government made little progress on the successor of the failed Lisbon Strategy, Europe 2020. The summit was overshadowed by an item not even on its agenda: the Greece’s economic woes, and the concomitant weakness of the Euro.

In particular, the member states failed to agree on the proposals of Commission President for so-called ‘headline targets’. The “conclusions” of the meeting do not mention any quantitative targets for the reduction of school drop outs (which Barroso wants to reduce to 10 percent by 2020) and for an increase in the tertiary graduation rates (up to 40 percent of the age group). Some member states, among them Germany, had questioned the Union’s legitimacy to set targets in the education field prior to the meeting. It may be a comfort to the Commission that the old target of investment in research and development has survived, at least, after having come under fire from Europe’s finance ministers earlier on.  The heads of state and government will thus have to return to their unfinished business in their June meeting.

European Council

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