Assumptions and Implementation of Smart Growth and Inclusive Growth Targets under the Europe 2020 Strategy
Purpose: The essence of the "Europe 2020" initiative, that is, the strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, is an attempt at creating conditions fostering long-term sustainable economic growth in the European Union. To this end, economies based on knowledge, promoting environment-friendly technologies must be built in the member states of the Community, at the same time taking care to maintain social and territorial cohesion. Design/Methodology/Approach: This paper contains a long-term analysis of selected indicators in the period 2000-2016 and an assessment of their accomplishment. This paper aims at verifying the hypothesis that prolonged economic problems of European economies undermine the success and timely accomplishment of certain priorities of the Strategy. Findings: In connection with a relatively high level of unemployment and unfavourable demographic structure in many EU member states, as well as a public finance policy aiming to mitigate the effects of financial downturn, the success of the Strategy requires a longer time horizon. Many EU member states clearly improved their results in the area of innovation through increasing their R&D expenditure and the number of tertiary education graduates. Practical Implications: An alarming phenomenon is deepening difficulties finding a job in the European employment market, in particular for young people, and a relatively high risk of poverty and social exclusion (on average 23.5% in EU-28). This may mean that the common road to the accomplishment of the targets of Europe 2020 Strategy can be longer than the projected time horizon. Originality/Value: It has boosted the process of building a knowledge-based economy and should create conditions for raising the employment rate, increasing efficiency and social cohesion.