EU leaders endorse plan to boost growth, jobs

March 14th, 2008 - 12:00 pm ICT by admin  

Brussels, March 14 (Xinhua) The European Union (EU) leaders have endorsed a plan to implement the 27-nation bloc’s flagship reform strategy to boost economic growth and jobs over the next three years. “The Lisbon Strategy is functioning well. Because of the Lisbon Strategy, the EU has solid economic foundations,” Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, told reporters after the first day of a EU summit, which kicked off here Thursday.

The Lisbon Strategy, which was first agreed in 2000 by EU leaders in the Portuguese capital, was initially aimed at making the EU “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world” by 2010.

However, the bold strategy was later watered down and was re-launched in 2005, with a clear focus placed on growth and jobs. It is based on a consensus among member states and organised around a three-year cycle, with the first starting in 2005.

Based on a recommendation from the European Commission, EU leaders picked up four priority areas for the next three-year period starting 2008, namely knowledge and innovation, unlocking business potential, investing in people and modernising labour markets, and energy and climate change.

There was “unanimous support for the new cycle of the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs. The opinion of citizens and governments was clear - the Lisbon Strategy is now working. Let’s now focus on delivery,” said Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

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