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Europe 2020 targets

Darts in the centre of a target  © iStockphoto

To measure progress in meeting the Europe 2020 goals, 5 headline targets have been agreed for the whole EU.

This limited set of EU-level targets is translated into national targets in each EU country, reflecting different situations and circumstances.

The 5 targets for the EU in 2020

  1. 1. Employment
    • 75% of the 20-64 year-olds to be employed
  2. 2. R&D 
    • 3% of the EU's GDP to be invested in R&D
  3. 3. Climate change and energy sustainability
    • greenhouse gas emissions 20% (or even 30%, if the conditions are right) lower than 1990
    • 20% of energy from renewables
    • 20% increase in energy efficiency
  4. 4. Education
    • Reducing the rates of early school leaving below 10%
    • at least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education
  5. 5. Fighting poverty and social exclusion
    • at least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion

Click here to access all the Europe 2020 indicators on the Eurostat website

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Features of the targets

  • They give an overall view of where the EU should be on key parameters by 2020.
  • They are translated into national targets so that each Member State can check its own progress towards these goals.
  • They do not imply burden-sharing – they are common goals, to be pursued through a mix of national and EU action.
  • They are interrelated and mutually reinforcing:
    • educational improvements help employability and reduce poverty
    • more R&D/innovation in the economy, combined with more efficient resources, makes us more competitive and creates jobs
    • investing in cleaner technologies combats climate change while creating new business/job opportunities.

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