Europe 2020 aims to strengthen a social market economy by emphasising smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. European leaders have been under increasing pressure since 2008 to adopt new policy programmes in order to overcome the effects of the global financial crisis. Since the economies of the various member states were severely affected by the crisis and its consequences, headline targets in five main policy areas and flagship initiatives were formulated with a view to promoting growth in Europe. To date, research has focused primarily on the various policy actions and their impacts on the economies of the member states. Little is known about the controversial discussions within the European Union (EU) institutions while the strategy was being formulated and adopted. This chapter therefore examines the role of the European Council and the Council of the EU in this policy process. The results demonstrate that the presidencies in both intergovernmental institutions served as political entrepreneurs and were able to impose their policy objectives.
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