Monday

30th Jan 2023

EU closer to reaching job goals, think-tanks say

  • A boost in economic growth has seen more jobs in Europe (Photo: European Commission)

Two independent studies suggest the EU is getting closer to its job and growth targets although productivity and spending on research remain problematic, with Denmark and the Netherlands praised as "heroes" and Poland and Greece as "villains" of the EU's reform efforts.

"The European economy is better prepared for global competition than it was in 2000," argues the 2007 Lisbon scoreboard published by the London-based Centre for European Reform.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The report analyses the EU's progress towards the economic goals listed by the bloc's leaders in 2000 in Lisbon including targets on growth, employment, research and development, as well as social and environmental protection.

As with last year, it praises the Nordic countries - especially Denmark - for the highest employment rates, the most successful high-tech industries and best social protection.

In terms of combining high productivity levels with good job numbers, the Netherlands features along with Denmark as the best performer, while the progress of the biggest EU member states - France, Germany and Italy - is "noticeable but slow."

On the other hand, the Mediterranean countries plus the 2004 newcomers are presented as the EU's laggards, with Poland and Greece criticised for unimpressive performance - just like last year.

Mind the education

A separate study by Allianz, the German financial services group, and the Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based think-tank, is also upbeat about the EU's overall scores - particularly as last year Europe experienced the strongest economic growth levels since the boom year of 2000.

Its authors suggest a rise in labour productivity - provided by both structural reforms carried out in member states and a positive economic cycle - has contributed to the EU's economic expansion.

Still, they suggest "governments should take advantage of the current good economy to push ahead with reform, because the framework conditions will probably not be better for years."

The main concerns stem from predictions about European demographics suggesting that between 2010 and 2020 a decline in potential growth is expected.

"To avoid a possible trade-off between productivity gains and employment growth, greater technical progress and more innovation are absolutely essential," argues the Allianz report.

Concerning education, Belgium scores best among the west European countries, with almost 40 percent of the country's workforce boasting a tertiary or higher degree, while Italy and Austria score poorly, indicating less innovation potential and labour quality.

"Education and research alone are not enough for a knowledge-based economy," argue the authors, suggesting that investment on R&D relative to GDP "has not budged since 2000."

EU economy 20 years behind US, study says

The EU is 22 years behind the US on economic growth according to a new study, with several other economic indicators showing further gaps despite Europe's ambitious reform agenda to be praised by its leaders at this week's summit.

Analysis

Why is petrostate UAE going all in on green hydrogen?

The United Arab Emirates announced its ambition to become one of the world's premier trading hubs for green hydrogen. Interesting, to say the least, for a country that relies on the sale of fossil fuels for its prosperity.

Analysis

Why is petrostate UAE going all in on green hydrogen?

The United Arab Emirates announced its ambition to become one of the world's premier trading hubs for green hydrogen. Interesting, to say the least, for a country that relies on the sale of fossil fuels for its prosperity.

Latest News

  1. Pressure mounts on EU to coordinate visas for Russian rights-defenders
  2. Dutch set to agree to US-led chip controls to China
  3. No record of Latvian MEP's 'official' Azerbaijan trip
  4. Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters
  5. Europe continues to finance Russia's war in Ukraine with lucrative fossil fuel trades
  6. Official: EU parliament's weak internal rule-making body leads to 'culture of impunity'
  7. Red tape border logjam for EU's 1.3m 'frontier workers'
  8. Greece's spy scandal must shake us out of complacency

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  2. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  3. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  4. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us