March 4, 2010
This article about Europe 2020 was published by EurActiv on 4th March 2010.
A Brussels gathering of EU politicians and policy experts yesterday (3 March) argued that the long-term ambitions of the European Commission’s ‘Europe 2020’ strategy for economic renewal will prove ineffective if they are not rooted in the ‘now’, with concrete proposals for immediate action to solve Europe’s economic crisis.
The conference, hosted by pro-integration lobby European Movement International, took place as Commission President José Manuel Barroso launched his strategy, which the Portuguese has made the cornerstone of his second term at the EU executive’s helm.
Participants, however, cautioned that a long-term strategy working towards a bright new tomorrow would hold no value if it failed to address the many problems facing Europe’s economy and citizens today.
Maria Joao Rodrigues, a key force behind Europe 2020’s predecessor, the Lisbon Strategy, argued that the latter did not succeed because there was a lack of suitable political instruments, a lack of financial means, and – most importantly – a lack of political will from EU member states to achieve its goals.
For the new plan to succeed where Lisbon failed, the one thing it must have above other things is credibility, she argued, particularly at a time of mass unemployment and economic uncertainty.
Other experts felt this credibility would prove unachievable, because new strategy outlines a series of lofty ambitions but fails to address the social, economic, financial and jobs crises currently crippling European growth.
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