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Europe

EU Continues to Trail U.S. in Competitiveness

The EU is still far behind the U.S. in terms of competitiveness, according to a new report.

According to a new survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, the EU is trailing the U.S. in terms of competitiveness. The survey measures the competitiveness of countries based on eight criteria, including promoting innovation and an enterprise culture. Based on these measures, the U.S. scores an average of 5.55 out of 7, compared to 4.97 out of 7 for the EU. The top three countries in the EU - Finland, Denmark and Sweden - are the only ones to surpass the United States. Scandinavian countries score highly on social inclusion and sustainable development. But it is Southern Europe that lets down the EU in this respect. "Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, the southern European countries, perform comparatively poorly across all eight dimensions," the report notes. This report is a blow to the EU's so-called Lisbon process - its ambitious aim to make the EU the "most competitive, knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010" because it shows how far the EU has to go before it can overhaul the U.S. The most competitive accession country - Estonia - was at 11th in the list and seven new member states (Estonia, Slovenia, Latvia, Malta, Czech Republic, Hungary and Lithuania) are above the worst current EU member, which is Greece. (EUobserver.com)

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