The European Council adopted a Strategy for Growth and Employment in 2010. The vision of the Europe 2020 Strategy, covering the years up to 2020, is smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The strategy sets EU-wide targets for employment, research and development expenditure, climate measures, education and reducing poverty. Each Member State sets its own national targets in accordance with this. As part of its national targets, Finland aims to raise the employment rate of people aged 20–64 to 78%, spend 4% of GDP on R&D, achieve the climate and energy targets agreed in the EU, maintain the proportion of those aged 30–34 who have completed tertiary-level education at 42%, reduce the proportion of 18–24 year-old early school leavers to 8%, and reduce the number of people living at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
The Council of the European Union adopts recommendations for all Member States aimed at guiding national decision-making to ensure this supports growth and employment. The recommendations issued for Finland in 2019 concern the sustainability of general government finances, improving the cost-effectiveness of health and social services, developing services targeted at the unemployed and those who are outside the labour market, improving the incentives for work, furthering investment in R&D activities, in the low carbon economy and in sustainable transport, and more robust monitoring of household indebtedness.
Finland’s National Reform Programme describes the measures that the Government has initiated to achieve the national targets and how Finland has reacted to the recommendations issued by the EU.