Headline targets and Sweden's national targets


The Europe 2020 strategy has headline targets in five areas. The Member States have set up national targets in the same areas as the overall Europe 2020 targets taking into account their relative baselines and national circumstances and in accordance with their national decision-making processes.

Headline targets

An important part of the strategy are the headline targets determined at EU level. The targets provide a general view of where the EU should be by 2020.

• To try to raise the employment rate to 75 per cent for women and men aged 20-64 through increased participation by young people, older workers and low-skilled workers, and better integration of legal migrants.

• To improve the conditions for research and development, particularly with the aim of increasing combined public and private investments in this sector to 3 per cent of GDP.

• To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent compared with 1990 levels. To increase the share of renewable energy sources in final energy consumption to 20 per cent and try to increase energy efficiency by 20 per cent. Achieve the 20-20-20 energy and climate targets.

• To improve the level of education, particularly by trying to reduce the number of early school leavers to less than 10 per cent and increasing the share of people aged 30-34 who have completed post-secondary or equivalent education to at least 40 per cent.

• To promote social inclusion - primarily through poverty reduction - by trying to lift at least 20 million people out of a situation in which they risk being affected by poverty and social exclusion.

National targets

Setting up national targets makes the responsibility of Member States for pushing through necessary reforms clear. The Swedish Government's basic premise is that the national targets are to be ambitious but realistic, and compatible with sustainable growth and sound public finances. Sweden's national targets are:

• To try to increase the employment rate to well over 80 per cent for women and men aged 20-64 by 2020. The increase should primarily occur among groups with weak attachment to the labour market, such as young people and people born abroad, and by preventing long periods without work.

• The difference in employment rates between women and men must be reduced by increasing the employment rate of women.

• To increase social inclusion by reducing the share of people outside the labour force (excluding full-time students), the long-term unemployed or people on long-term sick leave to well under 14 per cent by 2020.

• That the share of people aged 18-24 who have not completed upper secondary school studies and are not studying is less than 7 per cent by 2020, and the share of people aged 30-34 who have at least a two-year post-secondary education is 45-50 per cent by 2020.

• That public and private investment in R&D amounts to about 4 per cent of GDP by 2020.

The Riksdag has adopted climate and energy policy targets for 2020, three of which also constitute Sweden's national targets within the Europe 2020 strategy.

  • The share of renewable energy shall be at least 50 per cent of total energy use by 2020.

  • 20 per cent more efficient energy use by 2020. The target is expressed as a cross-sectoral target of a 20 per cent reduction in energy intensity by 2020 relative to 2008.

  • 40 per cent decrease in emissions of greenhouse gases relative to 1990. This target applies to the activities not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS). The reduction will be accomplished through emission reductions in Sweden and in the form of investment in other EU countries or flexible mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The Government's ambition is to attain the targets through national initiatives to the extent possible.

According to the EU's allocation of responsibilities, Sweden is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 17 per cent by 2020 relative to 2005 and increase the share of renewable energy to 49 per cent by 2020.