Boosting European Competitiveness
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Boosting European Competitiveness

The Role of CESEE Countries

Edited by Marek Belka, Ewald Nowotny, Pawel Samecki and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald

In the global financial crisis, competitiveness gaps between Euro area countries caused additional strain. This book discusses the various dimensions of competitiveness, with a special focus on Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. With products becoming ever more technically sophisticated and global interconnectedness on a relentless rise, quality, customer orientation and participation in production networks are as important as relative costs and prices. For Europe to proceed with convergence and to resist global competitive pressures, policies to boost productivity and innovation are therefore vital.
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Chapter 8: EU structural policies today: missing piece of the growth puzzle, or wishful thinking?

Brian Pinto


With monetary and fiscal policy reaching their limits, attention has turned to structural reform as the missing piece of the Eurozone growth puzzle. But the emerging market experience shows that structural reform typically entails upfront output and dislocation costs, which need fiscal space for absorption. Besides, benefits take time to materialize. Therefore, the euro zone debt overhang may have to be resolved before structural reforms can deliver on growth. In contrast, Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CESEE) is well positioned to benefit from structural reform, being far from global technological frontier, and with a limited or no debt overhang.

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