The big European sort?


This report from the UK think tank Centre for European Reform examines the diverging fortunes of Europe’s regions.

Europe is increasingly experiencing one of the economic trends that has frayed US politics: the growth of high-value services and technology firms is drawing young productive workers to the big cities, triggering greater regional economic divergence. The divide between more productive regions and those that have been left behind risks fueling resentment and driving support for populist and anti-establishment parties, many of which are expected to make gains in the forthcoming European Parliament elections. That is the key assessment of a new research paper by the Centre for European Reform, ‘The big European sort? The diverging fortunes of Europe’s regions’.

The paper provides a fresh insight into how structural economic change is leading to divergence at a regional level. The research includes an interactive map which reveals some striking examples of regional divergence in productivity across Europe. It shows some UK regions are on a par with less wealthy countries in Southern Europe, and that the worst performing region is Berlin, which given its size and population should be far more productive.

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