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European Competitiveness Report and CSR

Growth and JobsThe EU is facing a changing international reality. Currently financial markets are in a severe crisis that has started to spill over to the real economy. Policy makers around the world are working to restore confidence in the financial system. In 2008, volatile commodity, food and energy prices and the weakening of the dollar against the euro have influenced economic developments.

These developments underline the need for Europe to further enhance its adaptation capacity to external shocks by developing a knowledge-based economy and boosting competitiveness through continued commitment to the Growth and Jobs Strategy.

European competitiveness is at the centre of analysis of the yearly competitiveness report of the Commission. Its main focus is on recent changes of the EU's productivity growth, which is the key driver of competitiveness in the long run. Besides this, the European Competitiveness Report 20081 analyses different factors that may have an impact on competitiveness, such as the openness in trade and FDI and corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as the EU's recent proposal for a sustainable industrial policy. This year's report also studies in depth the competitiveness of the most important segment of our economy, the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The 2008 Competitiveness Report shows a continued improvement of the European economy in terms of productivity and standards of living vis-à-vis the United States, although in 2007 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita levels were still lower than the US by roughly a third. Both at macro and sector level, total factor productivity (TFP) is an important source of difference between the US and the EU. A number of factors, such as innovation, better institutional and business environment, improved managerial practices, and access to ICT explain the higher contribution of total factor productivity in the US compared to the EU countries. Intra-EU productivity differences are diminishing, new Member States are catching up and some of the richest EU Members States actually outperform the US.

Download this file (com_2008_0774.pdf)Communication of the EC on European Competitiveness report 2008[Communication of the EC on European Competitiveness report 2008]59 kB
Download this file (cr2008_sec_2008_2853.pdf)European Competitiveness report 2008[European Competitiveness report 2008 including one chapter on CSR]1722 kB
Download this file (csrreport.pdf)Chapter on CSR in the European Competitiveness report[Chapter on CSR in the European Competitiveness report]113 kB

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