The strategy Europe 2020 is aimed at economic development the EU on the basis of knowledge, environmental awareness, high unemployment rate, productivity, and social cohesion. In order to have every member state with appropriately implemented strategy, the above mentioned key priorities have been “lowered” to the national level. Member states define their goals in their national reform programs.
Europe 2020 strategy, when it was initiated, was a leader in advocating for growth that, not only means simple increase in GDP, but promotes a clever, sustainable, and inclusive growth, as key elements of the economic development. Aiming at stimulating an improvement at the EU level, the European Commission developed 7 primary initiatives, as a part of the Europe 2020, constituted from specific work programs in areas of great importance for the economic development. Besides that, Europe 2020 has been a frame of reference for policy implementation in the common market area, EU budget preparation for 2014-2020 period, as well as for defining EU foreign policy priorities. Apart from shaping social and employment policies in the EU, Europe 2020 served as a reference for a strategic expenditure of resources in 2007-2013, as well as for the projection of EU funds for 2014-2020. Considering this, funding of the priorities from both the EU and national sources has to be completely compatible with the goals of Europe 2020 in the next 7 years.
Although member states are in charge of defining national priorities for achieving goals set by the Strategy, the responsibility for their practical implementation does not lie only on national, regional, and local authorities. The practical implementation also has to include business, syndicate, professional associations, and civil society representatives.
Four years after the launch of Europe 2020, the European Commission is starting public consultations, in order to get the opinions of all stakeholders, about the Strategy’s previous practical implementation, as well as to adequately define a strategy for 2015-2020.
Goals and obligations arising from Europe 2020 do not mean additional criteria and economic goals for candidate and potential candidate states for the EU membership. However, the Strategy itself has a huge potential in candidate and potential candidate countries, in terms of the necessary reforms they must implement before joining the EU. The analysis of the goals defined in the Strategy shows that the strategic priorities defined represent development priorities of Serbia, and the rest of the Western Balkans states. However, macroeconomic stability, undeveloped infrastructure, non-adequate education, insufficient investments in the environment, technological dependence, poverty, corruption and organized crime, inefficient judiciary, as well as other characteristics of the region, should be taken into consideration. On the contrary, if the priorities are defined so as to be more suitable for the highest developed EU members, Europe will achieve higher competitiveness at the global level. Still, it is not a guarantee that Western Balkans will achieve that level of competitiveness and development.
- to improve the awareness and understanding of the Europe 2020 priorities, as well as necessary activities in the candidate states
- to increase the capacities and knowledge at all levels of government and citizens about priorities and instruments of the Europe 2020 strategy
- to improve the process of planning and reform implementation of great importance for Serbia’s economic development
The team at the European Movement in Serbia will prepare “The Guide through Europe 2020 Strategy – Four Years Later”, with a purpose of presenting its priorities, instruments, and tracking mechanisms. This release of the guide will provide an overview of the goals and priorities of the Strategy, 4 years after its implementation, a review of the established mechanisms of the implementation, and defining of the goals in EU member states, as well as the inclusion of regional, local authorities, and the civil society into the strategy implementation. A part of the handbook is dedicated to the analysis of Serbia’s situation in areas related to the Europe 2020, as well as the possibility of achieving priorities of the Strategy. The review of the situation in Serbia, following the priorities in the Strategy, would also contain an overview of how Serbian strategic framework contributes to achieving of the strategic goals defined by Europe 2020, as well as necessary reform in the process of the EU accession. Unlike the first release of the guide, the new release would have a special section related to the question of the importance of Europe 2020 issues for the improvement of strategic planning at the local level in Serbia.
With an aim to get the public and media representatives acquainted with new publications and information, we plan to organize a promotion event in Belgrade. The promotion will also be a chance to put Serbia’s most burning issues on the table, in the context of planning economic development in accordance with the strategy’s priorities, participation of all levels of governance in the preparation and implementation of national economic programs, citizens’ and civil society participation in the above mentioned process, challenges related to national development priorities definition, as well as the system that would monitor their practical implementation.
TIME FRAME: June 2014 – January 2015
THE PROJECT IS SUPPORTED BY: Open Society Foundation, and the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia