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EU should build lessons of Lisbon Strategy into 2020 plan, minister says

The European Union has yet to evaluate its Lisbon Strategy, which expires this year, but it should build on the lessons of the previous ten years to form its new 2020 Strategy, Hungarian minister without portfolio in charge of the Chancellery Csaba Molnár said.

Molnár was addressing an international conference entitled “EU 2020 Strategy” in Budapest organized by the EU representative office in Hungary, the Hungarian Cahncellery and the Hungarian research institute GKI.

The European Commission published its proposal for the new strategy last week.

The EU 2020 strategy, for which the European Commission published a proposal last week, will require the creation of a system for a tighter coordination of economic policy among member states, Molnár said. The strategy should rely on the unused potential of existing common policies, he added, noting that the strategy fails to mention the common agricultural policy as a way to reduce unemployment in the countryside and make the economy greener.

Priorities and the five main goals of the proposed ten-year strategy are expected to be approved at the March meeting of the European Council, head of the EU representative office in Hungary Tamás Szűcs told the conference.

The meeting will also invite member states to work out their national goals. The Council is scheduled to approve the package at its June meeting, and the first assessment is expected in the autumn.

The first major evaluation is expected in the first half of 2011, when Hungary takes the revolving EU presidency, Szűcs said.

The ten-year strategy proposed by the EC aims at intelligent, sustainable growth that will secure a high level of employment. The five main goals are to raise employment in the 20-64 age group from 69% at present to at least 75%; to raise R&D spending to 3% of GDP; to meet targets set on reducing CO2 emissions and improving energy efficiency; to the reduce the rate of school drop-outs to under 10%; and to cut the number of people living under the poverty line by 20 million. (MTI – Econews)