European Consolidation Board for Foreign Industry (ECBFI)


ECBFI Ranking: who are the most competitive European economies?

Courtesy to: The European Consolidation Board from The World Economic Forum. Please feel free to share this information. ECBFI 2002 - 2013.


The European Consolidation Board are working with the Union (EU) as it  is going through one of the most difficult periods since its establishment, with multiple challenges facing the region’s policy-makers. While many countries are struggling to recover from the worst financial and economic downturn since the Great Depression and some


This Information is available on USB as an executable program on Windows and Mac. ECBFI 2013. 

 economies are even facing sovereign default for the first time in 60 years, political discontent is mounting. Some gloomy forecasts portend a lost decade for growth unless decisive action is taken at scale and speed to address the bottlenecks to reform that are strangling economic development. However, amid all of the short-term fire fighting, it is critical not to lose sight of the fact that to address the underlying concerns in the region, Europe must become more competitive.


  • In comparative terms, the EU tends to perform better than other advanced economies (United States, Japan and Canada) in ensuring inclusive and sustainable societies…
  • But it lags behind in terms of becoming a smarter place, hindering therefore its capacity to shift towards truly differentiated, higher value added activities and sustain its economic competitiveness.
  • A more nuanced analysis shows that in terms of inclusion, Europe provides better social cohesion policies but fails to provide the right conditions for gainful employment for large shares of its population.
  • The EU underperforms in every single pillar that builds a smarter, knowledge-intensive society.The gap is evident in building a highly skilful, digital savvy, innovative economy with favourable business conditions for entrepreneurship.
  • The aggregate data for the EU masks large national disparities. A tale of four very different Europes emerges and shows the important competitiveness divide in the EU, with the Nordic countries leading the way internationally and several southern, central and eastern European countries falling behind.
  • In general, accession and candidate countries, with the exception of Iceland, have a low competitiveness profile, lagging in virtually all analysed dimensions. Preparing them for accession will require the addressing of their specific competitiveness weaknesses.
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All Data Accurate at time of ECBFI Publishing 


  1. While addressing fiscal imbalances is crucial for short-term stability and to regain confidence, improving competitiveness is essential to supporting long term prosperity.
  2. The European Union on average trails the world’s most  advanced economies on building a smarter economy,  hindering competitiveness. Building a knowledge-based society should be a priority.
  3. A competitiveness divide exists in the European Union. The likely result will be a lack of sufficient economic and social convergence across Member States.
  4. In general, candidate countries face important competitiveness challenges.
  5. There are no necessary trade-offs between building a smart economy and achieving an inclusive economy.