'EU 2020' - brand new strategy, same failed ideas

Press release by Gabi Zimmer, Jürgen Klute and Thomas Händel

March 3rd, 2010

On the 'EU 2020' strategy published today by the European Commission there is only one thing to say: the Commission has failed. Once again the Commission demonstrates that it is not willing to learn from the recent crisis.

GUE/NGL MEP Jürgen Klute on the strategy: "Only after ten years of Lisbon strategy-inspired stagnation policies, the economic crisis devastated European economies. It is therefore ridiculous for the Commission to warn of a "lost decade" if their proposals are not followed. Without a definitive break from the mantra of export orientation, even the modest growth-aim of two percent will not be reached. Adequate wage growth is an integral part of European economic governance."

Thomas Händel said there were no new or progressive elements in 'EU 2020'. "Even if the wording of the statement announced today is different, it still lacks a clear commitment to minimum social standards in the European Union. Rather, the new commission stands for employment at any price." The Commission also wants to make the EU the most competitive region in the world so for fiscal and social dumping the doors are wide open. "If the EU does not make a U-turn to combat such developments, European integration will fail. Integration is only possible when social progress, economics and sustainability are on the same level."

Gabi Zimmer on the poverty reduction goal in the Europe 2020 strategy: "Social NGOs had called for a poverty reduction goal of at least 50% by 2020. Now only one-in-four people living under the poverty threshold in the EU shall get a better life. To guarantee a life in dignity for all people, poverty must be completely eradicated. The Commissions proposal is more than one step away from this aim."