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Lisbon strategy

Last update : 26.02.2016


Strategy aimed at making the European Union (EU) the most competitive economy in the world and achieving full employment by 2010. This strategy, developed at subsequent meetings of the European Council, rests on three pillars:

  • an economic pillar preparing the ground for transition to a competitive, dynamic, knowledge-based economy. Emphasis is placed on the need to adapt constantly to changes in the information society and to boost research and development;
  • a social pillar designed to modernise the European social model by investing in human resources and combating social exclusion. Member States are expected to invest in education and training, and conduct an active policy for employment making it easier to move to a knowledge economy;
  • an environmental pillar, which was added at the Göteborg European Council meeting in June 2001 and draws attention to the fact that economic growth must be decoupled from use of natural resources.
Comment: the Europe 2020 agenda presented by the Commission in March 2010 (Europe 2020 – A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth) is the continuation of the Lisbon strategy. More specifically, the document "Education and Training 2020" (ET 2020) sets a new strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training.

Source: Cedefop (2011) "Glossary - Quality in education and training"