LISBON STRATEGY AND NATIONAL REFORM PROGRAMMES
In 2000 the European Council adopted the Lisbon strategy . Its aim was to make the EU “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”. One year later, environmental protection has become part of the Lisbon strategy. Owing to the fact that progress towards the Lisbon goals has been only limited, the European Council in 2005 has decided on its revision. Changes touched notably the institutional aspects of the strategy, with the aim to streamline the process of economic policy coordination, to make it more effective and to strengthen Member states’ ownership of the strategy. The renewed strategy is officially called Strategy for Growth and Jobs.
In 2005 a three-year cycle for monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of the strategy was introduced. The strategy for Growth and Jobs is based on action programmes elaborated by Member states’ authorities (National Reform Programmes and reports on the implementation of National Reform Programmes), in which Member states specify their reform priorities and evaluate the progress achieved. Similar action programme was elaborated at EU level (Community Lisbon Programme). The overall framework for economic policy coordination and elaboration of National Reform Programmes is represented by the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs . Every year the European Commission evaluates progress achieved by Member states in implementing their National Reform Programmes and proposes its recommendations addressed to Member states. The Commission’s proposal is then discussed by the Council for Economic and Financial Affairs and the Council for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs and finally it is adopted by the European council on its spring session.
The first Czech National Reform Programme 2005 – 2008 was submitted to the Commission in the autumn 2005. It defines the priorities and reform measures to be implemented in the area of macroeconomic, microeconomic and employment policy. Reforms are aiming particularly at stabilisation of public finances, improvement of business environment, promotion of science, research and innovation and increased flexibility of labour market. Two reports on implementation of the National Reform Programme of the Czech Republic were published in 2006 and 2007. These documents were elaborated by the Office of the Czech Republic Government in close cooperation with the Ministry of Finance (macroeconomic part) and in assistance of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Education (microeconomic part) and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (employment). They were adopted by the government and submitted to the Commission.
The second Czech National Reform Programme 2008 – 2010 was elaborated in the autumn 2008. The objectives and priorities are similar to the first programme. It was again elaborated by the Office of the Czech Republic Government in cooperation with other ministries. On October 20, 2008 the National Reform Programme was adopted by the Czech government and subsequently it was submitted to the Commission. The first implementation report was submitted in the autumn 2009.