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Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Common Actions for Growth and Employment: The Community Lisbon Programme COM(2005) 330 final

Funded under: FP6-SME

Abstract

The message at the heart of the Lisbon partnership for growth and employment is one of confidence and determination: the challenges facing Europe�s society, economy and environment are surmountable. If managed well they can be turned into new opportunities for Europe to grow and create more jobs.
At present, Europe finds itself at a crucial crossroads facing both internal and external challenges. On the one hand, Europe must address the challenge of ageing populations which in the long-run will result in a considerable shrinking of the working-age population while increasing the share of retired persons. Unless the decline in the size of the workforce is compensated by increases in labour productivity, potential growth will drop dramatically to around 1% by 2040, which is only half of the current level. Such a decline in economic performance together with a rise in age-related expenditures would put the European social model under considerable stress. On the other hand, the increased pace of globalisation has exposed the EU economy to mounting competition from abroad. The range of economic activities exposed to external competition has widened, now including the production of both high-tech and labour intensive goods and services. R&D investment in the EU has become close to stagnation. If current trends continue, R&D investment will be at 2,2 % of GDP in 2010, considerably lower than the agreed objective of 3%. Against this background important decisions need to be taken which will determine Europe�s economic and social future.

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Record Number: 7246 / Last updated on: 2006-03-20
Category: COM DOCUMENT