World Economic Forum report warns of Europe’s lack of competitiveness

Europe’s competitiveness deficit, the competitiveness divide between Southern and Eastern Europe and their neighbours to the north, is the root cause of stagnating or declining growth, rising unemployment or fiscal instability in the region, the report ‘Re-Building Europe’s Competitiveness’ published today by the World Economic Forum, has warned.

The report identified three core areas – innovation and entrepreneurship, mobilizing talent and product and service market efficiency – where Europe’s competitiveness deficit is most pronounced.

It also said that the current fast pace of reform embarked upon by some European nations to boost labour market flexibility, encourage competition in products and services and boost innovation and entrepreneurship, while welcome, requires further action if it is to return Europe to a path of sustained prosperity.

In order to help Europe achieve this outcome, the report suggested a number of competitiveness practices that some European countries have adopted successfully in the past and identifies five success factors that Europe’s political, business and civil society leaders should prioritize when implementing and scaling up reforms.

In particular: strong collaboration across stakeholders, policy consistency, political leadership, sense of urgency and a strong and clear communication plan.

“We hope that this report will provide policy makers, business and civil society leaders with an important tool in adopting measures needed to rebuild Europe’s competitiveness and inspire a strategic dialogue between stakeholders” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Martin Wittig, chief executive of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants added: “Europe is home to a range of world-class businesses that have continuously shown they are able to adapt to new challenges. Targeted reforms in innovation & entrepreneurship, labour markets, product and service markets, together with fiscal consolidation, can rebuild Europe ‘s competitiveness.”

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