Since its introduction in 2010, the Scottish Government has been strongly supportive of the vision set out in Europe 2020 – the European Union’s strategy for delivering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth across Europe over the period to 2020. The ambitions of Europe 2020 are closely aligned with the central purpose of the Scottish Government, which is to focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.
The Europe 2020 strategy sets out five key targets for the EU to achieve by the end of the decade. These targets relate to employment; education; research and innovation; social inclusion and poverty reduction; and climate change and energy sustainability. Europe 2020 also established seven Flagship Initiatives through which the EU and national authorities mutually reinforce their efforts in areas supporting the Europe 2020 priorities. These cover areas such as innovation, the digital economy, employment, youth support, industrial policy, poverty and resource efficiency.
There is a significant degree of commonality between Europe 2020 and Scotland’s Economic Strategy (SES). Central to both Europe 2020 and the SES is a focus on securing sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The Scottish National Reform Programme 2016
This report is the sixth Scottish National Reform Programme (NRP). It builds on the previous Scottish NRPs and outlines the actions being undertaken in Scotland in support of the delivery of the ambitions of Europe 2020.
The Sottish Government plays an important and distinctive role in developments at the European level. Engaging with the European Parliament and European Commission provides an excellent platform to demonstrate our success in areas where we are leading practice in Europe and to learn from the experiences of our European partners.
EU Member States produce annual reports on their structural reform programmes and the progress they are making in delivering the Europe 2020 ambitions to the European Commission through their NRPs. These provide context on the macroeconomic environment, outline how Member States intend to meet the targets set out in Europe 2020, and how they will overcome obstacles to economic growth. As part of this process, the Scottish Government has contributed to the development of the UK Government’s NRP for 2016.
However, in order to highlight the unique characteristics of Scotland, and the distinct approach to Europe 2020 ambitions that we are taking forward within the UK, the Scottish Government is continuing to produce a Scotland-specific NRP. This approach, which has been welcomed by both stakeholders and the Commission, helps emphasise Scotland’s positive engagement with the European Union.
It also provides a valuable opportunity to highlight particular areas where Scottish actions are making an important contribution to delivering the priorities of Europe 2020, and to share good practice with other EU countries.
Stakeholder engagement plays a vital role in policy development in Scotland, and formed a central part of the development of the Scottish NRP 2016. In line with this approach, a successful stakeholder event was held in Glasgow on 29 January 2016 with representatives from the Scottish and UK Governments, the European Commission, and other interested parties. The aim of this event was to consult a wide range of views to capture the activity being pursued across Scotland that supports the objectives of Europe 2020, in order to inform the development of the Scottish NRP 2016 and the Scottish contribution to the UK NRP 2016.
The Scottish National Reform Programme 2016.
The Scottish NRP 2015
The Scottish National Reform Programme 2015 was submitted to the European Commission on 8 May 2015.