The Council held a political debate on the contribution by the agricultural sector to the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy. While many ministers thing that the Europe 2020 strategy has made a difference and has been implemented effectively, they acknowledged however that some of its targets, such as employment, research and development and poverty reduction were not totally met: a specific focus should be put on those issues in the coming years.
Several delegations underscored that the recommendations prepared at EU level should offer more flexibility for member states to implement according to the national specificity. Most of the ministers highlighted the importance of agriculture and agro-food and for contributing to the European 2020 strategy. Many noted that the recently reformed common agricultural policy (CAP) offers a framework in line with the targets set by the Europe 2020 strategy. Time should be given to the new measures to be implemented and the contribution of the new CAP to the strategy should be assessed later. The programme European Research for Innovation in agriculture was frequently mentioned as an example. The new CAP, in particular through rural development measures, has now the opportunity to contribute to achieve Europe 2020 target with regard to employment through actions aiming at maintaining jobs in rural areas and improving the attractiveness of those areas, more specifically for young people.
Europe 2020 is the EU’s ten-year growth and jobs strategy that was launched in 2010 to try to overcome the economic crisis of the European economies. Europe 2020 intended to address the shortcomings of the European growth model and creating the conditions for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Five headline targets have been set for the EU to achieve by the end of 2020. These cover employment; research and development; climate/energy; education; social inclusion and poverty reduction. The objectives of the strategy are also supported by seven ‘flagship initiatives’ providing a framework through which the EU and national authorities mutually reinforce their efforts in areas supporting the Europe 2020 priorities such as innovation, the digital economy, employment, youth, industrial policy, poverty, and resource efficiency. Other EU levers such as the European single market, the EU budget and the EU external agenda also contribute to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy. The Europe 2020 strategy is implemented and monitored as part of the European Semester, the yearly cycle of coordination of economic and budgetary policies.
Monday, october 13 2014/ Consilium/ European Union.