This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
A new start for the Lisbon Strategy (2005)
A mid-term look at the Lisbon strategy shows the outcomes to be somewhat disappointing, particularly with regard to employment. In order to give the strategy some fresh momentum the Commission proposes a simplified coordination procedure and a focus on the national action plans (NAP). The emphasis is no longer on targets, of which the only one to be retained is the figure of 3% of GDP to be devoted to research and development by 2010. There is a switch of emphasis in the Communication away from the medium and long term in favour of the urgent action needed in the Member States.
Communication to the spring European Council of 2 February 2005 entitled “Working together for growth and jobs. A new start for the Lisbon strategy”. Communication from President Barroso in agreement with Vice-President Verheugen. [COM(2005) 24 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Taking stock five years after the launch of the Lisbon strategy, the Commission finds the results to date somewhat disappointing, and the European economy has failed to deliver the expected performance in terms of growth, productivity and employment. Job creation has slowed and there is still insufficient investment in research and development.
The Commission based its findings on the November 2004 report by the high-level group entitled "Rising to the challenge: the Lisbon strategy for growth and employment". Requested by the March 2004 European Council, this evaluation of progress achieved with the Lisbon strategy is extremely critical: lack of political resolve and inability to complete the internal market in goods and establish the one for services. The report is also critical of a top-heavy agenda, poor coordination and irreconcilable priorities.
The Commission has therefore decided to focus attention on the action to be taken rather than targets to be attained. The date of 2010 and the objectives concerning the various rates of employment are thus no longer put forward as priorities. This Communication fits into this context as a signal for relaunching policy priorities, particularly with regard to growth and employment.
The Member States, in order to achieve this progress, must focus their efforts on the reforms agreed as part of the strategy and pursue stability-orientated macroeconomic policies and sound budgetary policies. A new partnership for growth and employment is essential in order to give a fresh start to the Lisbon strategy. Accordingly, in order to stimulate growth, the Commission intends to:
More and better quality jobs
The Commission intends to review the European employment strategy in 2005. The Commission’s new proposal concerning the financial framework for the period 2007-2013 moreover reflects a switch of emphasis in favour of growth and employment. To create more and better jobs, the Commission intends to:
The Commission also stresses the need for responsibilities to be shared more clearly and more effectively. Overlapping, an excess of red tape and not enough political ownership are holding up progress. It will put forward a Lisbon action programme in order to clarify what needs to be done.
The Commission will propose simplified coordination with fewer and less complex reports. It is also proposed that the national programmes concerning the Lisbon strategy be presented in a format bringing together three coordination processes:
This will enable the European Council to put forward practical guidelines every spring and make it easier for the Commission to monitor progress.
It is also planning to put forward integrated guidelines for both employment and the broad economic policy guidelines in a single document. These guidelines will thus simultaneously cover macroeconomic policies, employment and structural reforms.
The Commission is also proposing that Member States should appoint a “Mr” or “Ms Lisbon” at government level to oversee the implementation of the reforms agreed under the Lisbon strategy.
This new reporting process will provide a mechanism through which the European Council and the European Parliament can focus on key policy issues. There will henceforth be a single Lisbon report at EU and at national level on the progress made.
Presidency Conclusions (FR) (pdf) of the Spring European Council in Brussels on 13/14 March 2008 [Not published in the Official Journal].
On the basis of Commission documents and in the light of the work carried out by the Council, the European Council launched the second cycle of the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs for the period 2008-2010, i.e. the Lisbon Community Programme (LCP). The European Council confirmed the integrated guidelines and the recommendations for each country. It also reaffirmed the four priority areas of the renewed Lisbon Strategy: investing in knowledge and innovation; unlocking business potential, especially of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and modernising labour markets; and developing an energy-efficient low-carbon economy. On the basis of the measures proposed by the Commission in its Communication of 11 December 2007 entitled “The renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs: launching the new cycle (2008 -2010)” and the work of the European Parliament and the Council, the European Council also approved a number of specific measures to be implemented.
Presidency Conclusions of the Spring European Council in Brussels on 8/9 March 2007 [Not published in the Official Journal].
Presidency Conclusions of the Spring European Council in Brussels on 23/24 March 2006 [Not published in the Official Journal].
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 20 July 2005: Common actions for growth and employment: The Community Lisbon Programme [COM(2000) 330 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
Presidency Conclusions (pdf) of the Spring European Council in Brussels on 22/23 March 2005 concerning the mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy [Not published in the Official Journal]. The spring 2005 summit of Heads of State or Government saw the adoption of the simplified Lisbon objectives proposed on the occasion of the mid-term review. Yet the Presidency conclusions refer to nearly 100 different objectives. These objectives stress the implementation of the reforms needed for growth and employment.
Commission Communication of 20 April 2005 entitled “Mobilising the brainpower of Europe: enabling universities to make their full contribution to the Lisbon Strategy” [COM(2005) 152 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Further information is available on the dedicated site on Growth and Employment.
Last updated: 07.05.2008