First results from the consultation on Europe 2020 published

The European Commission has published first results from the consultation on the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 Strategy, held between May and October 2014. The document summarises responses received, without bringing forward concrete proposals on the revamping of the strategy. The Commission states that the Strategy and its objectives are seen as relevant and important, even if there is little progress in two of the main objectives of the strategy: employment and poverty reduction.

Commission’s stocktaking highlights a number of shortfalls

The setbacks in attaining these objectives are linked to the crisis, while the positive developments in the area of education, climate gas emissions and energy efficiency are highlighted. The Commission also highlights that the national targets, set by the EU member states, are sufficiently ambitions and do not add up to the European targets. The Commission also points out that there is a growing gap between the best and the least performing EU countries, and the gap between regions is also widening.

Strategy seen positive, but frustrated by lack of coherence and visibility

The questions asked in the consultation focussed on the choice of the targets and the tools to attain them, including the flagship initiatives. Respondents broadly supported the targets and the approach to have measurable results. The main call to change the targets concerned the introduction of a gender target in addition to the existing ones. The flagship initiatives are also broadly seen as positive, but lacking of awareness and policy coherence.

AGE: make the developments visible for all age groups and by gender.

Several AGE members responded individually to the consultation while AGE sent also a collective response. In our response, we highlighted amongst others, the lack of streamlining of the strategy with policies such as the European Semester. Age aslo advocated for a further breaking down of the targets into age groups and by gender, to assess precisely where progress is made, and where there is regression from the targets. Overall, AGE considers that more action is needed to achieve the targets of employment growth and poverty reduction for all age groups.

Further follow-up to the mid-term review process

The Europe 2020 Strategy was defined in 2010 and sets targets to be achieved in 2020. The social targets stipulate to increase employment to 75% of the active population and to reduce the risk of poverty from 116 million to 96 million people. In its stocktaking exercise in 2014, the European Commission noted that these targets had not been attained, with employment stagnating at 68% and poverty having risen to 121.6 million in 2013. The Commission promised an extensive mid-term review of the Strategy in early 2015, a process which has been delayed until the end of 2015. The above communication does not make any concrete proposals to reflect on comments and recommendations made by respondents during the consultation. The Commission only announced that a final proposal on whether and how to review the Europe 2020 Strategy will be issued by the end of 2015.

For more information, please contact Philippe Seidel from the AGE Secretariat: Philippe.seidel@age-platform.eu 
 

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