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Europe 2020

Towards a More Social EU?

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Edited By Eric Marlier, David Natali and Rudi Van Dam

How can Europe 2020, the EU’s new Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, lead to a stronger Social EU with less poverty and greater social cohesion? This book by a number of eminent scholars and experts is the first to attempt to answer this question.
The adoption in June 2010 by EU leaders of a target to lift at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and exclusion by 2020 is an important step forward. However, delivering on this and the Union’s four other mutually reinforcing targets, and achieving the EU’s ambitious social objectives, raises many political and technical challenges. These are examined in depth in this book.
A key objective of the book is to take a critical look at and draw lessons from the past, 2000–2010 Lisbon Strategy. Another important objective is to explore the format and role of EU coordination and cooperation in the social field in the new EU governance framework, in a context marked by slow recovery after the global economic crisis. Finally, the book also makes proposals for the further reinforcement of this coordination and cooperation and for the improvement of the different instruments available at EU, national and sub-national levels.
The analysis and concrete proposals presented in the book will be invaluable to policy-makers, researchers and other stakeholders interested in contributing to building a more Social EU. They will help to encourage new ideas and innovative approaches.

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4. The Lisbon Strategy, Europe 2020and the Crisis in Between (David NATALI) 93

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93 4. The Lisbon Strategy, Europe 2020 and the Crisis in Between David NATALI1 4.1 Approaching Europe 2020: the Lisbon Strategy and the Crisis The Lisbon Strategy launched in 2000 represented a twofold ambi- tious goal for the European Union (EU): to transform the EU economy of the 21st century (and make it the most competitive and knowledge- based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion) and to make innovations in EU governance through developing new forms of inter- action between national practices and EU objectives. A lively multi-disciplinary debate has developed since the early 2000s amidst much controversy between scholars and experts. This chapter provides a brief overview of the Lisbon Strategy, its political and economic rationale, and its main advances and limitations. This is essential for asking some analytical and political questions on the post- Lisbon phase and the launch of the Europe 2020 Strategy.2 In the fol- lowing sections, the reference is to the broad logic of the new Strategy and the role of social policy coordination in it. The present contribution is organised in four parts. The first part looks at the normative political and economic foundations (the complex interplay of social and economic goals) and the key aspects of the governance (especially through the Open Method of Coordination – OMC) of the Strategy launched in Lisbon. The second part sheds light on the ongoing economic-financial crisis (and its social consequences). This is understood as the...

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