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'The crisis is a wake-up call, the moment where we recognise that business as usual would consign us to a gradual decline, to the second rank of the new global order. This is Europe's moment of truth. It is the time to be bold and ambitious', said Jose Manuel Barroso in 2010. The statement emphasizes the fact that EU should take action, as the European leaders have reached a common conclusion on the lessons to be learnt from the crisis, and they agreed upon the need for a long-term strategy to achieve a sustainable growth. The Europeans also share a common sense of urgency on the challenges lying ahead.

In this context, it is clear that the strategic planning is crucial for any organization, economy or nation. It means to set up SMART objectives, to develop annual plans of activities and, of course, to allocate resources in a pertinent quantity and structure. The strategies at the macro level involve a lot more, name a carefully conducted economic analysis, the harmonization of the national strategic priorities, a search for available resources of all types. The European Union has carried out the above and adopted its own strategy for the Horizon 2020.

Europe 2020 is the European Union's ten-year growth strategy, which is more than just overcoming the crisis that continues to afflict many of our economies. It is about addressing the shortcomings of EU growth model and creating the conditions for a different type of growth that is smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive (1).

The Europe 2020 strategy deals with delivering growth that is smart, via more effective investments in education, research and innovation; sustainable, thanks to a decisive move towards a low-carbon economy; and inclusive, with a strong emphasis on job creation and poverty reduction. The strategy is focused on five ambitious goals in the areas of employment, innovation, education, poverty reduction and climate/energy (2).

Every strategic priority aims at specific and attainable targets to hit and one of them is investing at least 3% of EU's GDP in R&D, as well as creating better conditions for research and innovation.

The EU economic model is emphasizing the need to build a sustainable growth for efficiency of resources, a greener and more competitive economy. It is time for the scholars to shift their research to upholding the sustainable growth, promoting practical solutions and involving in a real partnership with the industry, in a common R&D effort.

The JEDEP current issue presents the sustainable economic development in the transition countries, the coordinates of the environmental management and its application in the Republic of Slovakia, the sustainable quality of work, the life and job satisfaction and other interesting topics that I warmly recommend to our readers.

Your opinions and comments are important to us and we intend to insert them into a special JEDEP webpage, which will host your valuable feedback.

Prof. Manuela Epure, PhD



(2) COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION EUROPE 2020--A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, Brussels, 03.03.2010

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Author:Epure, Manuela
Publication:Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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