COM(2005)981, Common Actions for Growth and Employment : The Community Lisbon Programme†
- European Commission
At present, Europe finds itself at a crucial crossroads facing both internal and external challenges. On the one hand, Europe must address the challenge of ageing populations which in the long-run will result in a considerable shrinking of the working-age population while increasing the share of retired persons. Unless the decline in the size of the workforce is compensated by increases in labour productivity, potential growth will drop dramatically to around 1% by 2040, which is only half of the current level. Such a decline in economic performance together with a rise in age-related expenditures would put the European social model under considerable stress. On the other hand, the increased pace of globalisation has exposed the EU economy to mounting competition from abroad. The range of economic activities exposed to external competition has widened, now including the production of both high-tech and labour intensive goods and services. R&D investment in the EU has become close to stagnation. If current trends continue, R&D investment will be at 2,2 % of GDP in 2010, considerably lower than the agreed objective of 3%. Against this background important decisions need to be taken which will determine Europe’s economic and social future.
On 2 February 2005, the Commission proposed a new start for the Lisbon Strategy focusing the European Union’s efforts on two principal tasks – delivering stronger, lasting growth and more and better jobs. The institutions of the European Union have begun to turn the new momentum for a re-launch into concrete action since. The European Council of March, as well as the European Parliament and the European social partners, gave full support to the Commission’s proposal to re-launch and refocus the Lisbon Strategy.
The goal of the Lisbon partnership for growth and employment is to modernize our economy in order to secure our unique social model in the face of increasingly global markets, technological change, environmental pressures, and an ageing population. This strategy is also to be seen in the wider context of the sustainable development requirement that present needs have to be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
(A MESSAGE OF CONFIDENCE AND DETERMINATION)
- A MANDATE FOR ACTION
- THE COMMUNITY LISBON PROGRAMME – AN AGENDA FOR GROWTH AND JOBS
- Knowledge and innovation– engines of sustainable growth
- Making Europe a more attractive place to invest and work
- Creating more and better jobs