Europe faces major structural challenges – globalisation, climate change and an ageing population. The economic downturn has made these issues even more pressing. The Lisbon strategy addresses these challenges – aiming to stimulate growth and create more and better jobs, while making the economy greener and more innovative.
Before the financial and economic crisis hit the EU, the strategy had helped create more than 18m new jobs. When the economy slumped, the EU acted to stabilise the financial system and adopted a recovery plan to boost demand and restore confidence.
The plan is delivering a major fiscal stimulus, with measures to keep people in work and public investment in infrastructure, innovation, new skills for the workforce, energy efficiency and clean technologies to meet the goals of the Lisbon strategy.
On 3 March 2010, the European Commission has launched the Europe 2020 Strategy to go out of the crisis and prepare EU economy for the next decade. The Commission’s proposal on a new strategy follows a public consultation that attracted some 1 500 comments. The strategy builds on what has been achieved and the lessons learned [113 KB] . The first priority must be to hasten the exit from the crisis, but the strategy must also provide the building blocks for growth that will be sustainable in the future. Europe is recognised the world over for its high quality of life, underpinned by a unique social model. The strategy should ensure that these benefits are sustained and even further enhanced, while employment, productivity and social cohesion are optimised.