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Five Key Targets for Europe and Austria

To measure progress in meeting the Europe 2020 goals, 5 headline targets have been agreed for the EU. These EU-level targets are translated into national targets in each member state, reflecting the different situations and conditions.

Key targets for Europe

To ensure that the Member States' reforms aim in the same direction, five EU-wide core quantifiable goals were adopted to be achieved by 2020.

  1. Employment: Among 20 to 64 year old women and men the employment rate should increase to at least 75 percent. This is to be achieved primarily through better integration of young people, older workers and low-skilled immigrants in the labour market as well as through a greater involvement of women.
  2. Research & Development and Innovation: 3 percent of GDP (Gross domestic product) should be invested in R&D. The target has succeeded in focusing attention on the need for both the public and private sectors to invest in R&D but it focuses on input rather than impact.
  3. Climate Change and Energy: The greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by 20 percent compared with the level in 1990, the share of renewables in final energy consumption should be increased to 20 percent and there is the commitment to increase the energy efficiency towards 20 percent.
  4. Education: The school dropout rate is to be reduced to below 10 percent and the percentage of the 30 to 34 year olds who have completed a tertiary education is to be increased to at least 40 percent.
  5. Poverty and Social Exclusion: The number of Europeans living below the national poverty lines should be reduced by 25 percent, lifting over 20 million people out of poverty

Five national headline targets for Austria

Following the decisions of the European Councils of March and June 2010, the Austrian government has defined five national targets which were approved by the ministerial council in October 2010 and subsequently were the guiding principle for the Austrian reform program:

  1. Employment: The employment rate of the population aged 20 to 64 should increase to at least 77 to 78 percent. The focus is put primarily on a much greater participation of older workers, including through raising the effective retirement age, greater involvement of women, the better integration of (young) migrants and improving the quality of work.
  2. Research & Development: By 2020, the R&D rate is to be 3.76 percent of GDP, with at least 66 percent, preferably 70 percent of the expenditures to be borne by the private sector. With this target the Austrian government is pursuing an ambitious policy in order to turn Austria into a knowledge-based, innovative and competitive economy.
  3. Energy: The measures proposed by the Energy Strategy Austria represent the basis for developing an energy and climate policy overall approach, which considers the existing objectives at EU level. In the context of the national climate protection and energy targets the measures are expressly implemented in the four areas (i) stress on renewable energies, (ii) reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions, (iii) increase of the energy efficiency and (iv) efficient use of natural resources – resource efficiency. Therewith, the transition towards a resource efficient, sustainable and resilient economy is to be accelerated, and a qualitative growth path is to be safeguarded.
  4. Education: The share of early school-leavers should be reduced to 9.5 percent whilst increasing the percentage of the 30 to 34 year olds having completed tertiary education (or an equivalent post-secondary education (ISCED level 4) to 38 percent.
  5. Reduction of poverty and social exclusion: In total 235,000 individuals should be prevented from the risk of poverty and social exclusion. Since the poverty / social exclusion and the employment target are closely linked a special focus is on increasing employment, by enhancing labour market integration and improving the quality of jobs. Special emphasis will be put in this context on female labour market participation, long-term unemployed and young people.
European and Austrian EU 2020 targets
Headline target EU target 2020 Austrian target 2020
Employment rate (20 to 64) in % 75 % 77-78 %
R&D ratio 3 % 3,76 %
CO2-emission reduction targets -20 % compared to 1990 levels (for further details see "Effort Sharing Decision", 2009/406/8EC) -16 % for emissions not covered by the ETS (base year: 2005)
Renewable energy 20 % 34 %
Energy efficiency Increasing energy efficiency towards 20 % (base year 2005) Stabilization of final energy consumption (base year 2005)
Early school leaving in % 10 % 9,5 %
Tertiary education (30 to 34) in % 40 % 38 %
People affected by poverty 20 million less 235 000 less