Europe 2020 is a European Union strategy for growth and employment and is based on the enhanced coordination of economic policy. The strategy aims at smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The European Council, that is, the EU Summit, approved the Europe 2020 strategy in June 2010, replacing the Lisbon Strategy.
The Union has defined five Headline Targets for the strategy, to be achieved by the Member States by 2020.
1. Increasing employment
75% of 20–64 year-olds to be in employment. Participation in the labour market among young people, older workers and low-skilled workers will be increased. Legal migrants will be more strongly integrated into society.
2. Supporting research and development
3% of the Union's GDP will be invested in research and development.
3. Preventing climate change
Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced in line with earlier decisions.
4. Increasing education
The school drop-out ratio will be 10% at a maximum. The share of 30–34 year-olds who have completed tertiary or the equivalent education will be at least 40%.
5. Poverty reduction and social inclusion
Social inclusion will be promoted, lifting at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty.
Member States have set similar national targets based on Headline Targets. The policy of Finnish governments has been to implement the national measures under the strategy within the currently valid government decision on spending limits.
Finland's aims for 2020:
- 78% of the 20-64 year-old Finnish citizens are employed
- 4% of Finnish GDP will be invested in research and development.
- 42% of Finnish citizens between the ages of 30 and 34 will complete a higher university degree. The share of school drop-outs will be reduced to 8%.
- The risk of poverty or social exclusion will be eliminated for 150,000 people.
- The EU's energy and climate targets will be achieved.
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen's Government confirmed these targets in 2011.
Finland's targets surpass the European Union's Headline Targets because this is necessary in order to ensure the sustainability of Finland's public finances. Sustainable economic growth will secure funding for public services and benefits as the baby boomer generation retires.
Every April, all Member States submit their National Reform Programmes to the EU, describing the measures they will take to attain their national targets.
Every March, the Commission assesses the Member States' economic situation and the outcomes of the previous year's National Reform Programme, and publishes country-specific policy recommendations in May. The Council endorses the final recommendations. The recommendations ensure that each Member State has stable public finances and that the countries will realise the Europe 2020 targets. These recommendations should be taken into account in decision-making at national level.