Europe 2020 Strategy Europe 2020 Strategy

Europe 2020 in a nutshell

Europe 2020 logo The Europe 2020 strategy, adopted by the European Council on 17 June 2010, is the EU's agenda for growth and jobs for the current decade. It emphasises smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as a way to overcome the structural weaknesses in Europe's economy, improve its competitiveness and productivity and underpin a sustainable social market economy.
The headline targets related to the strategy's key objectives at the EU level are:
  • 75% of the population aged 20 to 64 years to be employed
  • 3% of GDP to be invested in the research and development (R&D) sector
  • Climate change and energy targets:
    • Greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 20% compared to 1990
    • Share of renewable energy sources in final energy consumption to be increased to 20%
    • Energy efficiency to be improved by 20%
  • Share of early school leavers to be reduced under 10% and at least 40% of 30 to 34 years old to have completed tertiary or equivalent education.
  • Poverty to be reduced by lifting at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty or social exclusion.

The 2020 headline targets are monitored by Eurostat with nine indicators:


Europe 2020 strategy headline indicators, EU28
  Headline indicator Past situation Current situation 2020 Target
2008 2014 2015 2016
* Total emissions, including international aviation, but excluding emissions from land use, land use change and forestry.
** People at risk of poverty or social exclusion are in at least one of the following three conditions: at-risk-of-poverty after social transfers (income poverty), severely materially deprived or living in a household with very low work intensity. Persons are only counted once even if they are present in several sub-indicators. The overall EU target is to lift at least 20 million people out of risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2020 with 2008 as a baseline year. All data refer to EU27.
e estimate                      p provisional                           b break in time series                       : Data not available
Employment Employment rate, total
(% of the population aged 20-64)
70.3 69.2 70.1 71.1 75
R&D Gross domestic expenditure on R&D
(% of GDP)
1.84 2.03 2.03 2.03p 3.00
Climate change & energy Greenhouse gas emissions*
(index 1990=100)
90.61 77.39 77.88 : 80
Share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption (%) 11.1 16.1 16.7 17.0 20
Primary energy consumption
(Million tonnes of oil equivalent)
1,693 1,508.6 1,531.9 1,542.7 1,483
Final energy consumption
(Million tonnes of oil equivalent)
1,179.5 1,063.1 1,086.2 1,107.7 1,086
Education Early leavers from education & training, total
(% of population aged 18-24)
14.7 11.2b 11.0 10.7 <10.0
Tertiary educational attainment, total
(% of population aged 30-34)
31.1 37.9b 38.7 39.1 ≥40.0
Poverty or social exclusion** People at risk of poverty or social exclusion
(Cumulative difference from 2008 in thousands)
: 4759 1925 968 -20000


The diagram below presents the current situation of the EU for the nine indicators by showing the progress made since 2008 and the distance still to cover towards the Europe 2020 key targets.


For more information on the Europe 2020 monitoring, see Statistics Explained.

More information on the targets can be found here.