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A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
2010 must mark a new beginning. I want Europe to emerge stronger
from the economic and financial crisis.
Economic realities are moving faster than political realities, as we have
seen with the global impact of the financial crisis. We need to accept that
the increased economic interdependence demands also a more
determined and coherent response at the political level.
The last two years have left millions unemployed. It has brought a
burden of debt that will last for many years. It has brought new pressures
on our social cohesion. It has also exposed some fundamental truths
about the challenges that the European economy faces. And in the
meantime, the global economy is moving forward. How Europe responds
will determine our future.
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.
Our short-term priority is a successful exit from the crisis. It will be tough
for some time yet but we will get there. Significant progress has been
made on dealing with bad banks, correcting the financial markets and
recognising the need for strong policy coordination in the eurozone.
To achieve a sustainable future, we must already look beyond the short
term. Europe needs to get back on track. Then it must stay on track. That
is the purpose of Europe 2020. It's about more jobs and better lives. It
shows how Europe has the capability to deliver smart, sustainable and
inclusive growth, to find the path to create new jobs and to offer a sense
of direction to our societies.
European leaders have a common analysis on the lessons to be drawn
from the crisis. We also share a common sense of urgency on the
challenges ahead. Now we jointly need to make