Barely a few months after the EU 2020 strategy was launched, a new EU instrument of guidance and surveillance over Member States' fiscal and economic policies, called the European Semester, was created as a response to the public debt crisis. In addition to putting aside the EU 2020 goals, some of the priorities of the European Semester are actually diminishing Member States' capacity to achieve those goals.

For example, austerity programs, as a tool to achieve fiscal consolidation, are having damaging effects on EU 2020 targets such as employment, poverty alleviation, R&D, training and education, which on the contrary need public intervention and investment and are key for the EU to recover and achieve growth!

CECOP calls upon the new European Commission to rectify this contradiction among those instruments and to give a central place to the EU 2020 strategy. The EU 2020 social and employment goals can no longer be subordinated to the economic goals of the European Semester if we want to get close to a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by 2020.