Vice-President Maroš Šefčovic presented EU 2020 Strategy in Bratislava
Vice-President of the European Commission for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration Maroš Šefčovič presented the Europe 2020 strategy in the Slovak Parliament on Thursday 4 March 2010 and symbolically started his first off i cial visit of a national parliament since taking up his new post.
Mr. Šefčovič informed the parliament that the main goal of the strategy is to lead the European economy out of the crisis and provide a completely new basis for European economic policy. He explained that without new stimulus, Europe could miss out on decades of growth, which would mean a decrease in living standard and gradual marginalization of the EU in the world.
He stressed that the plan for a significant recovery is based on three pillars: knowledge and innovation, sustainable growth and inclusive growth supporting employment, and poverty elimination. The Commission decided to reduce the number of priorities to five: to decrease unemployment, raise investment in research and development, fulfill environmental objectives, increase the number Europeans with a university degree from 31 to 40 percent and help twenty million people escape poverty.
He praised Slovakia’s engagement in the EU. Since its accession in 2004, the country has reported progress in all areas. In recent years, Slovakia has recorded the strongest growth in GDP and its GDP has climbed from 50 percent of the EU’s average to almost 70 percent.
Vice President Šefčovič announced at a press conference that education was one of the core problems of the EU, specifically the quality of higher education and low number of graduates. He pointed out alarming figures which show an unacceptable number of Europeans without elementary and secondary education.
Mr. Šefčovič also met with Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paska and participated in a joint meeting with Members of Foreign Affairs Committee and European Affairs Committee.