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A competitive economy is an economy with a sustained high rate of productivity growth, and one of the EU's key political priorities. Competitiveness is a pre-requisite if the EU is to achieve the goals of 'a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy, delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion', as laid down in its Europe 2020 strategy.

To be competitive, the EU must outperform its competitors in terms of research and innovation, information and communication technologies, entrepreneurship, competition, education and training.

Europe 2020's 7 flagship initiatives seek to address these challenges:

  1. Digital agenda for Europe
  2. Innovation Union
  3. Youth on the move
  4. Resource-efficient Europe
  5. An industrial policy for the globalisation era
  6. An agenda for new skills and jobs
  7. European platform against poverty.