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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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Working Document
Relaunching the Lisbon process - Refocusing on growth and jobs

Date of release : 23-03-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : European Council

What are the European citizens aiming at?

European citizens want a job, a quicker start for a new enterprise, an easier access to tailormade financial resources and to open markets and to count on more effective communication and transport systems. They want to better concile working and family life, to update their skills regarding Internet and the new technologies, to provide better education to their children, to count on effective services of general  interest, decent pensions and an healthy environment.

The central purpose of the Lisbon Strategy is to provide sustainable welfare to all citizens who live in the European Union. This welfare can only be ensured if the European continent is up to face the problems of an insufficient growth rate, the  fastest ageing population in the world and the emergence of new competitive poles. In order to meet these challenges, Europe must create new competitive advantages, building on knowledge and innovation and improving the synergies between the economic, social and environmental dimensions.

The Lisbon strategy is Europe's most ambitious reform agenda of the recent years. Five years after its first launch in 2000, the results are mixed. Too many objectives have diluted  the priorities and weakened ownership.

The re-launch of the Lisbon Strategy under the Luxembourg Presidency is based on

1. A re-focusing on growth and jobs: more growth and sustainable growth, more jobs and better jobs

2. An effective ownership by improving governance procedures at both the European and national levels, in the framework of a partnership for growth and employment:

  • each Member State commits itself to implement a national reform programme during the next three years. This should involve national parliaments, regions, social partners and civil society
  • in parallel, the Union is committed to implement a Lisbon Community Programme

The re-launch of the Lisbon Strategy will be based on three main priorities:

  • Knowledge and innovation as the engines for a sustainable growth
  • Making Europe more attractive to invest and work
  • More jobs for more social cohesion

These three main priorities are composed by ten areas of action:

Area 1: concretize the European Research Area

Area 2: promote innovation in all its forms

Area 3: develop technologies and a sound industrial base

Area 4: spread access to the information society

Area 5: take into account the environmental dimension

Area 6: finalise the single market: transposing the directives, achieving the legal framework of the single market, re-directing State aids, a better regulation, focusing on SMEs, developing the infrastructures of the single market

Area 7: strengthen the external dimension: Doha and the regional agreements

Area 8: engage the reform of the labour market and of the social protection

Area 9: make the European space of education and training a reality

Area 10: orient social inclusion to growth and employment

In the framework of these ten areas, the European Council’s conclusions define a Package of Actions, all of them focusing on the objectives of growth and employment. These actions will be put underway at European and national levels:

These actions are addressed to specific target groups of European citizens.

Some examples can be given such as:

For young people

  • develop their skills in line with the needs of a knowledge society
  • speed up the mobility of students, of trainees,  of workers and their families and of researchers
  • raise the general levels of education and reduce the number of early school-leavers
  • put in place policies for better insertion of young people in the labour market
  • develop the policy of social inclusion for the most vulnerable  young people, particularly those in poverty, by enabling them to acquire particular skills and by supporting their integration into the labour market
  • to promote entrepreneurship among young people

For jobs seekers

  • improve access to lifelong learning whatever their levels of education
  • enhance active labour market policies
  • develop new areas of jobs creation such as personal services, business services, social economy, spatial planning and urban management, environmental protection and new industrial occupations

For families

  • improve family care services for children and elderly people
  • apply everywhere the principle of equal opportunities
  • build an inclusive information society, generalising the access to information and communication technologies in the households
  • develop innovative models of work organisation

For people wanting to adapt their skills to a changing labour market

  • make lifelong learning an opportunity, by spreading innovative models of work organisation and new forms of cost-sharing between companies, workers and public authorities and by developing the Internet content in order to foster training in the households

For workers in the industrial sectors

  • make lifelong learning an opportunity for all
  • develop new models of work organisation, combining flexibility with security for a stronger adaptability
  • build a fully inclusive information society
  • develop new areas of jobs creation, in particular by fostering local partnerships for growth and employment

For entrepreneurs

  • implement a better regulation and reduce administrative burden
  • provide them with one-stop shops
  • spread and facilitate access to venture capital, loans and micro-loans and other funding instruments
  • make the best use of the support networks for SMEs at national and regional level, by reorganising, connecting and modernising them
  • develop lifelong learning

For innovators and researchers

  • diversify the activities of the European Investment Fund towards the funding of innovative SMEs
  • develop support instruments for innovative SMEs
  • extend funding instruments of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to more risky R&D projects
  • streamline and strengthen the support network for innovation in enterprises
  • develop partnerships and poles for innovation at regional and local levels
  • multiply and foster  the emergence of technological platforms
  • improve the conditions for the mobility and the professional activity of researchers
  • develop joint research between enterprises and universities
  • pursue the 3% GDP objective for the investment in R&D

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This page was last modified on : 23-03-2005

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