The ‘Lisbon Strategy’ (also referred to as the Lisbon Agenda) is a way of describing the more immediate priority objectives of the EU for the period 2000-2010. It is called the ‘Lisbon Strategy’ because it was agreed at the Lisbon Council in 2000 when the Heads of State and Government of the EU agreed the following vision: “To make the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world capable of sustaining more and better jobs and with greater social cohesion”.
Progress in reaching this objective is reported to the EU Spring Council (March every year) which decides the key priorities for following up on the Lisbon Agenda. The Gothenburg Council in 2001 made environmental protection part of the ‘Lisbon Strategy’.
Following changes in most of the Governments who agreed the Lisbon Strategy, the election of a new European Parliament and the appointment of a new Commission in 2004, an evaluation of the Lisbon Strategy was launched. This evaluation was strongly influenced by the report of the ‘Kok Group” which was appointed by the Council to prepare an input into the evaluation. This evaluation led to a revised Lisbon Strategy which was agreed at the Spring Council 2005.
The revised Lisbon Strategy did not change the original intentions of the Lisbon strategy but it did decide that the future orientation of the strategy should focus on Growth and Jobs. In addition it decided on a new method of governance for the Lisbon Strategy, involving the adoption in June 2005 by the Council of Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (integrating the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines –divided between Macro and Micro Economic Guidelines- and the Employment Guidelines).
The new Integrated Guidelines become the basis for Member States to produce National Reform Programmes, which were submitted to the Commission in October 2005 for the period 2005–2008. The employment section replaces the previous National Action Plans for Employment which were developed under the Employment OMC. In 2006 and 2007, Implementation Reports were prepared and presented to the Commission. The new round of National Reform Programmes (2008-10) will be presented to the Commission by October the 15th 2008.
These National Reform Programmes should contribute to the goal of social inclusion, through a process of feeding in and feeding out between the Lisbon strategy and the OMC (how the OMC contributes to Lisbon and more importantly how Lisbon contributes to social inclusion.). The Commission encouraged the involvement of all relevant bodies in the preparation of these National Reform Programmes and have appointed national Lisbon Coordinators (‘Mr/Ms Lisbon’).
The Council formations (EMCO and SPCI) then carry out an evaluation of the NRP’s and the Implementation Reports and, then the Commission, in December, prepares the Annual Progress Report, which provides a detailed analysis of the macro/micro and employment aspects linked to the Integrated Guidelines, as well as an assessment of strengths and weaknesses. The Council may then decide to propose specific country recommendations. The APR also makes proposals on key messages and priorities for the following year. The final decision is made at the Spring European Council in March.
Background resources and documents: The main documents on the Lisbon process are found on the Europa Growth and Jobs site.