The Review of the Europe 2020 Strategy: From austerity to prosperity?

Andrea Renda
Key points This Policy Brief argues that the mid-term review of Europe 2020 should be approached on three different levels in order to be effective: i) the revision and update of the content of the Europe 2020 strategy, including its objectives, targets and major flagship initiatives; ii) the reform of the governance of the strategy; and iii) the repositioning of the strategy at the core of EU policy. The future of Europe 2020 lies in its ability to become the protagonist of a new season in EU
more » ... a new season in EU policy, in which countries can apply for more flexibility only if they can prove both structural reform and good governance. By establishing a 'new deal' among member states, an improved Europe 2020 strategy can help Europe to complete its transition from austerity to prosperity. Recommendations How can these objectives be realised? The content of the strategy should be revised to include initiatives on infrastructure, the internal market and administrative capacity at all levels of government. Once the flagship initiatives and the indicators have been thoroughly reviewed, it would be important to ensure that:  The European Commission drafts its Annual Growth Survey with specific reference to progress achieved and further progress needed on the way towards the Europe 2020 objectives and goals.  Member states should break down the objectives at the sub-national level and coordinate regional reform plans (where appropriate).  Member states should plan their spending of EU cohesion funds as a function of their national/sub-national reform plans.  National reform plans and proposed spending plans at the national and sub-national levels should be accompanied by an in-depth impact evaluation.  All reforms, besides the ex ante impact evaluations, should be accompanied by a plan to implement the identified reforms, a monitoring plan based on clear indicators, and a time horizon for the mid-term and the ex post evaluation of the proposed reforms.  The European Commission should validate the plan by applying clear conditionalities.. 2 | ANDREA RENDA