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Commission finds relaunched Lisbon strategy 'bearing fruit'

The Commission delivered an upbeat message to Member States in its second annual progress report on the relaunched Lisbon strategy, saying the policy is working and the reform process is bearing fruit.

The report, to be discussed at the Spring Summit in March 2007, notes that...
Commission finds relaunched Lisbon strategy 'bearing fruit'
The Commission delivered an upbeat message to Member States in its second annual progress report on the relaunched Lisbon strategy, saying the policy is working and the reform process is bearing fruit.

The report, to be discussed at the Spring Summit in March 2007, notes that the current economic upturn represents a window of opportunity to speed up the pace of reform, which should not be missed.

'Europe is starting to embrace the changes that can make the current economic upturn last,' said Commission President José Manuel Barroso, presenting the report. 'To get in shape for globalisation every Member State needs to pick up the pace and perform to its full potential.'

Mr Barroso continued: 'the improved economic outlook is a unique window of opportunity to speed up, not an excuse to sit back and relax. There is no room for complacency.'

The report analyses four priority action areas: knowledge, business environment, labour markets and energy and climate change.

On knowledge, it welcomed the progress made over the last year in boosting research and development (R&D) and innovation, improving regulation and the business environment, especially for SMEs.

It recommends, however, a more strategic approach to innovation, building on the agreement between EU leaders at the Lahti informal summit in October and on the proposed European Institute of Technology.

The report notes reasonable progress in the business environment and promises to look at cutting red tape by 25% by 2012 to contribute even further to Europe's economic performance.

The lack of competition in many markets, especially in network services and energy, continues to pull on Europe's economy. Labour markets are looking better thanks to the 'flexicurity' approach in labour markets. 'But it has yet to be fully translated into action. The EU is not moving fast enough,' the report said.

Overall, the report paints a brighter picture than in recent years as reforms are starting to deliver their benefits. But it also emphasises that reforms are at an early stage and will need to be fully followed through to make a lasting economic impact.

The report also underlines that good performance in the future will depend on further reform now. It makes clear that, especially in many new Member States, success will also depend on making the most of the forthcoming influx of EU Structural Funding.

Source: European Commission

Related information

Record Number: 26809 / Last updated on: 2006-12-13
Category: Policy making and guidelines
Provider: EC