Europe 2020 - the European Commission proposes a new economic strategy for Europe.

The European Commission has launched the Europe 2020 Strategy to go out of the crisis and prepare EU economy for the next decade. The Commission identifies three key drivers for growth, to be implemented through concrete actions at EU and national levels: smart growth (fostering knowledge, innovation, education and digital society), sustainable growth (making our production more resource efficient while boosting our competitiveness) and inclusive growth (raising participation in the labour market, the acquisition of skills and the fight against poverty).

Progress towards these objectives will be measured against five representative headline EU-level targets, which Member States will be asked to translate into national targets reflecting starting points:

· 75 % of the population aged 20-64 should be employed.

· 3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D.

· The "20/20/20" climate/energy targets should be met.

· The share of early school leavers should be under 10% and at least 40% of the younger generation should have a degree or diploma.

· 20 million less people should be at risk of poverty.

In order to meet these targets, a series of flagship initiatives were highlighted, from which I will mention the ones of interest for our telecentre community:

A digital agenda for Europe - delivering sustainable economic and social benefits from a Digital Single Market based on ultra fast internet. All Europeans should have access to high speed internet by 2013.

An agenda for new skills and jobs – creating the conditions for modernising labour markets, with a view to raising employment levels and ensuring the sustainability of our social models, while baby-boomers retire

European platform against poverty - ensuring economic, social and territorial cohesion by helping the poor and socially excluded and enabling them to play an active part in society.

Telecentres can take advantage of their natural strategic strength of being able to reach the hard-to-reach people in order to proactively facilitate implementation of solutions within initiatives stated above. Now, more than ever, the new strategy turns out into a significant opportunity for telecentres to take part in the front lines of European future sustainable development.

The European telecentre community demonstrated already the force of united efforts during the eSkills Week, by bringing online more than 60,000 Europeans in around 1,500 telecentres accross more than 20 countries.

Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner on Digital agenda, has recently pointed out in a speech that one of the main strategic directions of the Digital agenda is the "citizens' need of support to learn and use new and different skills to take advantage of the digital world".

Telecentres are already addressing this issue, that basicaly represents the engine of their existence. The new strategic framework allows active involvement, increased visibility and better recognition for telecentres, and

Telecentre-Europe is committed to continue to work for a stronger impact at the European level.


If you want to learn more about Europe 2020, please go to http://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/.

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