LIVE: European growth initiative slowly takes shape

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is opposing economic stimulus policies that rely on new debt, amid calls to relax austerity measures from centre-left opponents in Germany and newly elected French President François Hollande.

The EU has already adopted a ten-year growth plan, called 'Europe 2020' (see our LinksDossier).

The strategy, agreed in June 2010 by the EU's heads of state, defined five 'headline targets' that would need to be adapted at national level to reflect local differences:

  • Raising the employment rate of the population aged 20-64 from the current 69% to 75%.
  • Raising the investment in R&D to 3% of the EU's GDP.
  • Meeting the EU's climate change and energy objective for 2020 to cut greenhouse gas emission by 20% and source 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources.
  • Reducing the share of early school leavers from the current 15% to under 10% and making sure that at least 40% of youngsters have a degree or diploma.
  • Reducing the number of Europeans living below the poverty line by 25%, lifting 20 million out of poverty from the current 80 million.

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