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Strategic report on the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs: new cycle 2008-2010

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Strategic report on the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs: new cycle 2008-2010

The Commission is presenting a series of actions with a view to launching the second cycle (2008-2010) of reforms under the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs, and to achieving the strategy's objectives. To this end, the action of the European Union and the Member States must be strengthened in four priority areas: unlocking business potential; investing in people and modernising labour markets; knowledge and innovation; and energy-efficiency and combating climate change.


Communication from the Commission to the Council of 11 December 2007 – Strategic report on the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs: launching the new cycle (2008-2010) Part I [COM(2007) 803 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This document presents the launch of the second cycle of actions relating to growth and jobs with a view to enabling the Member States to fully achieve the objectives laid down in the renewed Lisbon strategy. Even though overall progress with structural reforms during the first cycle (2005-2008) has been positive, these reforms must be intensified.

Further efforts are essential, particularly with a view to:

  • increasing investments in information and communication technologies;
  • allowing effective operation of the internal market, in which delays are occurring particularly as regards the implementation of the rules on intellectual and industrial property rights;
  • creating a genuine entrepreneurial culture;
  • putting in place education systems which allow for lifelong learning.

The report states that although the principle of "flexicurity" had been applied to the social security reforms in most Member States, it had not achieved the desired results, principally because of a lack of supporting measures.

In view of these problems and the risk of financial turmoil, particularly as a result of increased prices for raw materials, the Lisbon strategy should be deepened by:

  • pressing ahead with reforms in order to maximise the impact of the new generation of EU cohesion policy programmes on growth and jobs. Around € 70 billion will be mobilised annually up to 2013, mostly in support of the National Reform Programmes (NRPs);
  • widening stakeholder involvement in the Lisbon strategy;
  • strengthening economic policy coordination, with an emphasis on partnership between the Member States and the EU when updating and implementing the integrated guidelines;
  • undertaking the reforms needed at Community level, especially under the Community Lisbon Programme (CLP);
  • shaping the external agenda through the securing of access to third country markets for European companies, and matched by the EU maintaining its openness and intensifying the strategic dialogue with these third countries;
  • integrating national, Community and international action into an effective strategy based on a partnership centred around the four priority areas agreed by the 2006 Spring European Council, namely knowledge and innovation, unlocking business potential, investing in people and modernising labour markets, and energy-efficiency and combating climate change.

Actions in the four priority areas

As part of the second cycle (2008-2010) of reforms under the Lisbon strategy, the Commission is proposing the implementation of a number of actions at Community and national level. These measures focus on the four priority areas specified by the Commission.

Investing in people and modernising labour markets, particularly in the context of flexicurity, is intended to help employees and employers to take advantage of the opportunities offered by globalisation. To this end, the Commission is proposing the following measures to be implemented by the Community:

  • a renewed Social Agenda taking account of Europe's new realities;
  • evaluation and assessment of skills and needs on the jobs market, drawing mainly on the Council's initiative on new skills for new jobs [PDF];
  • measures for a common immigration policy.

Certain steps must also be taken by the Member States to:

  • define national pathways within their NRPs;
  • improve childcare services (in terms of cost, quality and availability);
  • tackle early school-leaving and improve basic reading skills;
  • increase the number of international exchanges;
  • draw up, by 2010, national qualification frameworks aligned with the European framework.

Unlocking business potential, especially of SMEs, is also a priority. To this end, a number of actions are proposed at Community level:

  • adoption of a measure in favour of small businesses;
  • reduction of administrative burdens and implementation of an ambitious simplification programme;
  • strengthening of the single market, especially in the field of services.

Action by the Member States is also required to:

  • implement the services Directive by 2009;
  • set and announce administrative burden reduction targets;
  • continue modernising public administrations.

Investing in knowledge and innovation is intended to spur the EU's transition to a knowledge-based and creative economy. The "fifth freedom" – the free movement of knowledge – should thus be established. To this end, the Commission must:

  • improve the framework conditions for innovation;
  • remove obstacles to the cross-border mobility of researchers (on the basis of a European "passport");
  • manage more effectively the pooling of the EU's and the Member States' R&D resources;
  • launch a new generation of world-class research facilities and improve competition for high-speed Internet.

Action should also be taken by the Member States to:

  • coordinate efforts to improve framework conditions for innovation;
  • indicate how national R&D investment targets for 2010 will be met and how the creation of a European research area is to be achieved;
  • facilitate the mobility of researchers (between public and private research centres);
  • draw up strategies identifying the new generation of world-class research facilities;
  • set targets aiming at a 30% rate of high-speed Internet usage.

The creation of a low-carbon and energy-efficient economy is also a priority. The Commission therefore proposes that the EU should lead the way by:

  • seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 % and achieve a renewable energy share of 20% by 2020. In addition, the Commission must promote more sustainable production and consumption;
  • review the taxation of energy in the light of energy and environmental objectives;
  • strengthen the requirements regarding the energy performance of buildings.

Action should also be taken by the Member States to:

  • review their economic instruments in the ongoing fight against climate change;
  • ensure that energy-efficiency is used as one of the award criteria for public procurement;
  • set mandatory energy reduction targets for government buildings;
  • improve interconnection of energy grids.


Since the relaunch of the Lisbon strategy in 2005, the EU and the Member States have formed a new partnership to ensure sustainable growth and employment. Following the first cycle (2005-2008), tangible results have been achieved as regards the rate of growth (especially as a result of the structural reforms), job creation and the rates of employment and unemployment. The key role played by the renewed Lisbon strategy was confirmed at the informal European summit held in Lisbon in October 2007, which also advocated a deepening of the strategy during the next cycle. Part II of the Communication describes the progress achieved in the different Member States. The Lisbon "package" also contains a Part IV setting out the integrated guidelines for growth and jobs (2008-2010). All these documents enabled the 2008 Spring European Council to launch a further, ambitious cycle by adopting, in particular, the actions being proposed by the Commission.


Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 13 and 14 March 2008 [Not published in the Official Journal]. On the basis of the documents submitted by the Commission, and in the light of the work carried out by the relevant formations of the Council, the European Council has launched the second three-year cycle (2008–2010) of the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs. In this connection, the European Council confirmed the integrated guidelines, endorsed the country-specific recommendations, and confirmed the four priority areas under the renewed Lisbon strategy. Taking as its basis the actions proposed by the Commission and the work undertaken by the European Parliament, the Council also approved a number of specific measures.

Last updated: 11.06.2008