Commission President José Manuel Barroso said the draft proposal will help "unlock Europe's potential" as it attempts to replace jobs lost during the financial crisis.
As reported earlier by EurActiv, the document identifies a number of themes as drivers of the EU in 2020. It highlights the need to create value by basing growth on knowledge, developing new skills and building a green economy (EurActiv 19/11/09).
The Commission is to see the views of stakeholders by 15 January 2010, with a more detailed plan due to be presented to EU leaders at their summit in March.
It is also expected that the new European Innovation Act will be published around the same time, setting out a framework for policy in this area.
The new ten-year strategy came under fire from social NGOs yesterday (24 November), amid fears that the consultation process would be too short (EurActiv 24/11/09).
Business groups have also been quick to respond, with BusinessEurope saying new political momentum is needed to rally the EU institutions around a common objective. BusinessEurope President Jürgen R. Thumann put the emphasis on modernising the EU economy and called for clear targets by which to measure success.
"We need a clear focus on competitiveness and on the conditions to stimulate business investment for recovery," he said.
Eurochambres, which represents chambers of commerce in Europe, said the consultation document offers an opportunity to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the current Lisbon Strategy.
However, the group expressed concern that EU member states had not engaged sufficiently with the process, leading to a lack of involvement of stakeholders at grassroots level.
Arnaldo Abruzzini, Eurochambres secretary-general, said the European Commission should adopt a "carrot and stick" approach to encouraging member-state involvement. He suggested linking implementation of the EU's growth policies to the allocation of European funds.
On 8 September, Fondation EurActiv held a workshop on the priorities for the next Commission and the replacement of the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs ( see programme here ). As the new Commission settles in, EurActiv will continue to cover the review of the Lisbon Agenda in its EU Priorities section and during 'special week' coverage of the Spanish EU Presidency ( see programme here ).