The Committee of the Regions has issued its 3rd Monitoring Report on Europe 2020, which will be discussed on 8 October by the CoR Bureau and two days later at the 2012 Open Days workshop. Europe 2020 is a natural priority for the new CoR Presidency, since it sees the achievement of growth in quantitative as well as qualitative terms (growth should be smart, sustainable and inclusive) and can be flexibly adapted to different national situations. This Third Monitoring Report expresses the COR's views ahead of the 2013 Annual Growth Survey, to be published by the European Commission by the end of 2012.
The report's findings, based on a number of sources, including the outcome of the work conducted by our Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform (in 2012, a total of 137 questionnaires were submitted in connection with the four surveys organised by the Platform), show that:
- EU local and regional authorities are increasingly familiar with Europe 2020;
- the Europe 2020 goals and targets set at country level are seen by a majority of respondents as appropriate to their territories and the flagship initiatives have even encouraged local and regional authorities to address their own specific needs by setting more ambitious goals in several policy fields;
- nevertheless, cities and regions still need to do more to coordinate and integrate their policies with those of other tiers of government;
- multilevel coordination and governance is still far from widespread and the Europe 2020 National reform programmes are still decided mainly by national governments;
- the economic crisis and austerity measures to stabilise the euro area are taking a heavy toll on public budgets at the national and local levels.
This document honours the commitment made by the CoR Bureau in October 2010, to present an annual assessment to the other EU institutions of how the implementation of Europe 2020 is seen by local and regional authorities in the EU and whether the principle of partnership between all tiers of government is being adopted in the design and implementation of the new strategy by means of multilevel governance tools, such as Territorial Pacts.