The share of renewable energies in Belgium’s total gross energy consumption rose in the past few years, increasing from 2.3% in 2005 to 6.8% in 2012. However our country is far from the 2020 13% target set by the EU. The 28 EU countries boasted a figure of 14.1% on average in 2012 according to Eurostat’s latest figures. The Europe 2020 strategy approved by the European council in June 2010 aims to build an “intelligent, lasting, and inclusive economy with high levels of employment, productivity, and social cohesion.” 5 ambitious targets were set for 2020, in the fields of employment, R&D, climate change and energy, education, as well as poverty reduction.
Each European country was given national targets “in line with the situation and potential contribution of each member state to the general objectives.”
Each European country was given national targets “in line with the situation and potential contribution of each member state to the general objectives.” Though still far from that target, Belgium does better than its neighbours (12% in 2013) by bringing down to 11% the number of 18-24-year-olds leaving school or training prematurely. R&D investments are better than the European average, too (2.28 compared to 2.02% of GDP in 2013). Between 2012 and 2013, our country also cut the number of individuals at risk of falling into poverty by 3% to 2,286 million.
Europe as a whole achieved significant progress since 2008 both in the fields of climate change and energy and in that of education.
There was less progress when it comes to R&D expenditure, and the gap with targets in employment and poverty increased. Employment decreased from 70.3% in 2008 to 68.4% in 2013 amongst 20-64-year-olds.. The number of people at risk of falling into poverty and social exclusion went from 116.6 million in 2008 to 123.1 million in 2012.
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)