Measures for combating poverty and social exclusion, the creation of quality jobs and realistic solutions for youth unemployment were some of the main topics discussed at the conference Europe 2020 – Paths for Reinventing Europe’s Future, held by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 6 July.
With the Europe 2020 strategy not delivering the expected results and its mid-term review scheduled towards the end of the year, European and national decision-makers, civil society representatives, national economic and social councils and key stakeholders from the EU Member States came together to offer new perspectives on social progress, aimed at boosting the performance and effectiveness of the EU’s strategic goals.
“Relaunching the Europe 2020 Strategy requires a paradigm shift,”
“We need an investment plan that includes social investment and we need to link the strategy’s targets to the European Fund for Strategic Investment. The relaunch of Europe 2020 should focus on the social dimension by strengthening social protection, life-long learning and creating targeted programmes for disadvantaged groups in society.”
Since its launch in 2010, Europe 2020 has been the EU’s only long-term strategy for establishing a link between needs and reforms in the Member States. Despite some signs of upward market trends, efforts to achieve economic growth continue. Proposals for closer links between Europe 2020, the European Semester (the EU’s annual cycle of economic policy guidance and surveillance), national policies and the Investment Plan were highlighted during the discussions.