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 15: Peering into the crystal ball: can the CESEE countries be an engine of growth for the EU?

Iain Begg


This chapter examines whether the countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CESEE), following their remarkable transformation of the previous quarter of a century, could play a pivotal role as an engine of growth for the European Union (EU) economy. It argues that while the recent growth of these countries gives grounds for optimism, shortcomings in innovation and possible deficiencies in skilled labour could be obstacles. The challenge in the coming years will lie in a further transition from the growth model that has served them well since 1990 to one orientated more towards innovative, knowledge-based activities. Policies will need to adapt to give more prominence to these objectives.

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