Europe 2020 and Croatia
For the purpose of understanding and studying social and economical aspects of future EU,presentation on the Strategy „Europe 2020“ was held on 19th December 2013 at the Pedagogical Faculty in Slavonski Brod. Europe 2020 is a strategy that replaces the Lisbon strategy and represents the vision of Europe's social market economy for the following decade. Its three priorities are: smart growth by the development of the economy based on knowledge and innovation, sustainable growth by promoting greener, more competitive economy and efficient use of resources and inclusive growth by fostering economy with high employment that contributes to social and territorial cohesion. These priorities should be implemented through seven key initiatives: Smart growth through digital agenda for Europe, Innovation Union, Youth on the move, Sustainable growth through Resource efficient Europe, An industrial policy for the globalisation era and Inclusive growth through An agenda for new skills and jobs and by European platform against poverty.
University professors and students of Pedagogical Faculty were introduced with and then discussed the main objectives of the strategy. There are five objectivesto be achieved by 2020: to raise the employment rate of the population aged 20–64 from the current 69% to at least 75%.; to achieve the target of investing 3% of GDP in R&D in particular by improving the conditions for R&D investment by the private sector, and develop a new indicator to track innovation, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% compared to 1990 levels or by 30% if the conditions are right, increase the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption to 20%, and achieve a 20% increase in energy efficiency; to reduce the share of early school leavers to 10% from the current 15% and increase the share of the population aged 30–34 having completed tertiary from 31% to at least 40%; to reduce the number of Europeans living below national poverty lines by 25%, lifting 20 million people out of poverty.All of these goals are interrelated and interconected; educated population is easier to employ and employment growth reduces poverty. Likewise, investment in research and development and innovation increases the competitiveness of the economy and provide new jobs.
The success of the Europe 2020 strategy crucially depends on the ability of EU Member States to play their part in. Therefore, the last parts of the presentation were focused on the role of Croatia in achieving goals of the Europe 2020 strategy.Much of the national investment priorities will be co-financed from EU funds, but not all of them. This will be determined by national operational programs.