Europe 2020 - the EU's common growth and jobs strategy

The aim of the EU's common growth and jobs strategy (Europe 2020) is to stimulate the economies of the Member States and so create increased growth and more jobs. The strategy has three overall priorities: smart growth, sustainable growth and inclusive growth.

The EU is facing a series of challenges that have been amplified by the financial and economic crisis. Substantial structural problems have been manifested in low productivity growth, large groups outside the labour market and public finance deficits. Since EU countries are increasingly affected by one another and the challenges are common, a common strategy on how to deal with them is needed.

Smart and sustainable growth for all

In June 2010, the EU heads of state and government agreed on the format of the Europe 2020 strategy. The strategy replaces the earlier Lisbon strategy and thereby forms the EU's new common framework for creating long-term sustainable growth and more jobs throughout the Union. It is based on three overall priorities that are intended to reinforce each another:

  • Smart growth: Developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation.
  • Sustainable growth: promoting a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy.
  • Inclusive growth: Stimulating an economy with high employment and social and territorial cohesion.

Sweden is now working for the ambitious and effective implementation of the strategy by encouraging Member States to implement necessary reforms in accordance with the strategy's targets and overall guidelines.

New annual cycle for enhanced coordination

In order to push for effective implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy that is consistent with the stability and growth pact, the Council decided in September 2010 to introduce a new annual cycle for enhanced economic coordination in the EU.

The annual cycle starts with the European Semester in the spring. Presenting the reports within the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy and the stability and growth pact at the same time makes a coordinated assessment of structural reforms and macroeconomic stability possible. It also enables the common priorities at EU level in the spring to be better reflected in the national decision-making processes during the autumn.