Europe 2020 is the overarching strategic approach that was developed to strengthen the EU in the aftermath of the economic crisis. The strategy was launched in 2010 and has its objectives set for the year 2020. The aim of Europe 2020 is to establish and foster a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy that guarantees high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion for EU citizens.


The Europe 2020 strategy is about delivering economic growth that is smart, sustainable and inclusive.

  • Smart growth: This corresponds to effective investments in education, research and innovation.
  • Sustainable growth: The EU should operate in a way that is resource efficient, green and competitive, with a steep reduction in carbon emissions.
  • Inclusive growth: A strong emphasis on job creation and poverty reduction, in turn leading to high employment rates, and social and territorial cohesion.



The aforementioned priorities have been translated into concrete targets for the year 2020. Eurostat keeps track of each EU member state’s progress of realising these targets. The following table lists the concrete targets per domain.

Employment- Employment for 75% of the 20-64 year-olds
Research & development- Public and private investments in R&D should equal 3% of the EU's GDP
Climate change and energy sustainability- A 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990
- Of all generated energy, 20% should be from renewable energy sources
- A 20% increase in energy efficiency
Education- Reducing the rates of early school leaving below 10%
- At least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education
Poverty and social exclusion- At least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion