Fifth Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion - Investing in Europe’s future
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The fifth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion is adopted in the aftermath of the worst financial and economic crisis in recent history. The EU and its Member States responded to this crisis by taking measures to keep businesses in operation and people in employment, to stimulate demand and increase public investment.
Subsequently, several governments have faced difficulties refinancing their debts due to a combination of falling revenue and increasing expenditure on welfare payments and stimulus measures. Faced with large deficits and pressure from financial markets, most EU governments are in the process of implementing fiscal consolidation measures.
In the midst of this, the EU has adopted an ambitious new strategy for long-term recovery, Europe 2020. Its key objective is smart, inclusive and sustainable growth. Even more than its predecessor, the Lisbon Strategy, Europe 2020 emphasises the need for innovation, employment and social inclusion and a strong response to environmental challenges and climate change in order to meet this objective.