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Commission launches consultation on EU 2020: a new strategy to make the EU a smarter, greener social market

The Commission today issued a public consultation document on giving the EU economy a brighter future through the EU 2020 Strategy. EU 2020 aims to deliver greener and socially inclusive growth, as outlined by President Barroso in his Political Guidelines. The new Strategy will build on the achievements of the Lisbon Strategy, while learning its lessons. The consultation paper sets out a vision for how EU 2020 will focus on entrenching recovery from the crisis, helping to prevent a similar one in future and on three thematic objectives: creating value through knowledge; empowering people in inclusive societies; and creating a competitive, connected and greener economy. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 15 January 2010. The new Commission will then make a detailed proposal to the Spring European Council.

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Creating a competitive, connected and greener economy

The future will see high energy prices, carbon constraints and greater competition for resources and markets. All of these are risks but also present opportunities to create a "new" EU 2020 economy with a strong global competitive advantage. New greener technologies can stimulate growth, create new jobs and services and help the EU meet climate change goals. On the other hand, failure to adapt to the 21 st century would see Europe decline.

The policies at EU and national level to promote eco-innovation and energy-efficient products and systems should include emission trading, tax reform, subsidies and loans, public investment and procurement and targeting of research and innovation budgets.

Europe needs smarter transport infrastructures and an EU wide 'smart grid' for energy, as well as 100% broadband coverage as soon as possible. The EU and Member States should work together to make the right strategic investments to make two-thirds of electricity generation both low carbon and more secure by the early 2020s.

Manufacturing will remain critical to the EU's future economic success. But Europe needs a new industrial policy emphasising innovation capacity, new technologies, skills, fostering entrepreneurship and "internationalising" SMEs. Excess capacity in some sectors must be tackled. Those adversely affected will need to be supported.

It's broader than the energy sector, but it's still something we could comment on...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 08:52:00 AM EST

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