Europe faces major structural challenges- globalization, climate changes and an ageing population- the Lisbon strategy addresses all these challenges – aiming to stimulate growth and create more and better jobs , while making the economy greener and more innovative.
There are two main prospective in creating a European labour market, first of all the employment protection, with minimum wages and a standardized social security system for all employees. The second aim is to establish a free movement of workers, in order to avoid the future demographic changes. The first step towards a united European labour market started in March 2000 with the Lisbon Strategy, also known as the Lisbon Agenda which is an action and development plan for the European Union, to make the EU “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”
In March 2005 the EU relaunched the Lisbon Strategy in recognition of the fact that there were gaps between the national and European approach. This document placed more emphasis on growth and employment though more investment, more jobs and most important less regulation. The success of the Lisbon Strategy can easily seen by looking at the following figure. Before the financial and economic crisis hit the EU, the strategy had helped create more than 18 million new jobs. Stimulated by the major success the EU decided to go even further by developing the Europe 2020 strategy to go out of the crisis and prepare EU economy for the next decade.
On of the main points of the strategy is an increase of the number of employees between the age of 20 until 69 from now 69% to 75%. Furthermore is it intended that the number of early school leaver has to be decreased from currently 15% to 10%. As well as a growth of the number of the 30-34 aged employees with a graduate degree from 31% to 40% at least.
Summing up, the EU strategy wants to advance an integrative growth with a high activity and social and territorial cohesion.