The Past, Current and Future Economic Performance of Europe's Regions and Nations
Europe's nations are becoming increasingly economically divided. This is one of the findings of a major new report published today by Robert Huggins Associates, a leading European economic think-tank and consultancy specialising in competitiveness research and founders of the influential World Knowledge Competitiveness Index and the UK Competitiveness Index.
The European Futures report - which is to be launched at the World Future 2003 Conference in San Francisco this week - finds that between 1994 and 2000 the prosperity gap within Europe's nations increased by a staggering 25%, measured by the level of inter-regional variation in the economic performance of Europe's nations. This divide in performance has lead to a Europe becoming significantly less economically cohesive. The report finds that those economies which have suffered the biggest widening of their prosperity gaps are Greece, the UK, the Netherlands and Finland. In particular, the fact that the economic gap between the UK's regions has increased by 54% during the last decade raises considerable issues regarding both European and national polices.
Despite current trading conditions and the massive effects of economic integration between the west and the east, the report argues that the performance of Germany's economy has been remarkable. The report points to the fact that Germany has maintained an overall level of economic output per person that is still well above the European average and higher than nations such as the UK, France and Finland.
The report highlights the current spread in economic performance across Europe measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, with the output of the bottom ranked region - Kentriki Ellada in Greece - equating to only slightly more than one-quarter of the top ranked region's GDP per capita - Brussels. The report states that the fact that these two regions are not distant outliers but part of a continuum of relative economic disparity across Europe is a cause for considerable concern.
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See Also: The European Competitiveness Index 2003