Eurobarometer surveys show two thirds of people are still in favour of the euro. By working together we have maintained a healthy euro that ensures citizens and businesses continue to benefit from:
See table on Euro/US dollar exchange rates below (2001-2010).
the attractiveness of the eurozone as a magnet for foreign direct investment from the rest of the world. Studies have shown that the introduction of the euro increased foreign direct investment in the eurozone by between 14 and 16 percentage points.
The Euro Plus Pact was agreed in March 2011 by the Euro area heads of government as well as Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.
It aimed to strengthen the economic pillar of monetary union, achieve better co-ordination on economic policy, improve competitiveness and lead to greater convergence. Through focusing on competitiveness, the pact will allow Europe's economy to grow both in the medium and long-term.
Europe's policies for growth are clearly set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy, which was endorsed by the European Council in 2010.
The Europe 2020 strategy sets five targets to be achieved by the end of this decade in critical areas for the EU’s future: employment, innovation, climate/energy, education and social inclusion.
The targets are agreed for the EU as a whole and were translated into national targets by each Member State in their national reform programmes:
75 % of the population aged 20–64 should be employed
3 % of the EU’s GDP should be invested in research and development
20 million fewer people should be at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
At European and national levels it is expected that the full range of social and economic policies will be utilised to achieve the maximum from the growth agenda. These range from improving the functioning of the labour market, to the EU’s potential for greater innovation, to improving resource efficiency, to improving educational attainment and to helping alleviate poverty and social exclusion.
However, efforts undertaken to date remain insufficient to meet most of these targets. It is, therefore, urgent to concentrate on the implementation of reforms, with a particular attention to measures which have a short-term effect on jobs and growth.
To abate the effects of the sovereign-debt crisis, the European Investment Bank will increase its paid-in capital to €10 billion by the end of 2012, raised its overall lending capacity to €60 billion, unlocking up to €180 billion of additional investment to help stimulate the European economy.
Introduced in June 2010, the European Semester is an EU-level policy co-ordination tool contributing towards the broader EU aims of strengthening economic governance and greater policy co-ordination.
It provides a more integrated surveillance framework for the implementation of fiscal policies under the Stability and Growth Pact as well as the implementation of structural reforms through national reform programmes.