Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 15/03/2010

Europe 2020: a Strategy to reduce poverty

The Committee of the Regions requests more funding to help regions and local authorities fight social exclusion

By 2020, the number of Europeans living below the national poverty lines should be reduced by 25%, lifting over 20 million people out of poverty.

"Europe 2020 is about what we need to do today and tomorrow to get the EU economy back on track. The crisis has exposed fundamental issues and unsustainable trends that we can not ignore any longer. Europe has a growth deficit which is putting our future at risk. We must decisively tackle our weaknesses and exploit our many strengths.” Said President Barroso about the launch of the Europe 2020 Strategy. 

The Strategy is a response to the current economic crisis and will aim to give the European Union the tools to move on to a new sustainable social market economy.

There are three proposed priorities for action:

  • Smart growth - fostering knowledge, innovation, education and digital society
  • Sustainable growth - making our production more resource efficient while boosting our competitiveness
  • Inclusive growth - raising participation in the labour market, the acquisition of skills and the fight against poverty

The Commission proposes the following EU headline targets for 2020:

  • 75 % of the population aged 20-64 should be employed
  • 3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D
  • The "20/20/20" climate/energy targets should be met (including an increase to 30% of emissions reduction if the conditions are right)
  • The share of early school leavers should be under 10% and at least 40% of the younger generation should have a tertiary degree
  • 20 million less people should be at risk of poverty


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