Despite the economic crisis, EU’s progress towards the EU2020 objective of spending 3% of GDP has shown an improvement.
The Europe 2020 strategy, adopted by the European Council in June 2010, aiming at establishing a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion, included as one of its key objectives to be reached by 2020 the area of research & development (R&D).
So far, in terms of R&D, EU’s progress towards the EU2020 objective of spending 3% of GDP has shown an improvement, following a relative stagnation and despite the economic crisis, as a result of which the innovation gap with the US and Japan has been reduced. This was showcased in the Eurostat 2015 edition of the publication “Smarter, greener, more inclusive?”, released in March, which provides trends and latest statistics to monitor the progress towards the headline targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
It needs to be taken account that significant differences exist across the EU. While countries such as Finland, Sweden, Germany or Denmark share patterns of high expenditure, of over or around 3%, an important part Eastern and Southern Europe, including Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta and Greece, have their levels below 1%. However, there has been an increase in R&D intensity in most Member States, with the exception of countries Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, the UK and Sweden.
In the EU, R&D activities are carried out by four main institutional sectors: the business enterprise, the government sector, the higher education sector and the private non-profit sectors.
The full report is available here.