The European neighbourhood – challenges and opportunities for EU competitiveness (Competitiveness Report 2012)

Client/Funding Institution

European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry


This study serves as a background report for the yearly Competitiveness Report of the EC. In order to assess the differences between neighbouring countries with respect to their importance for EU competitiveness, the study first maps the economic situation and competitiveness of each of the Eastern and Southern ENP partner countries, non-candidate EFTA countries, potential candidate countries as well as Russia. The study describes and analysed the economic importance of institutional arrangements and instruments for cooperation between the EU and the above countries. It also explores the economic and trade impact of bilateral agreements and related trade and investment flows including energy, raw materials and other resources between EU Member States. The final part of the study contains a discussion of the challenges and opportunities for EU competitiveness resulting from its different economic relations, institutional arrangements and instruments with its immediate neighbours, as well as the bilateral relations between EU member states and neighbouring countries. The prospects for EU SMEs to expand their activities into neighbouring countries are discussed and conclusions drawn on the basis thereof. The study concludes with policy recommendations stemming from the discussion of challenges and opportunities. wiiw coordinated the study.


November 2011 - May 2012


wiiw team Leader

Peter Havlik

wiiw Staff

Vasily Astrov, Mario Holzner, Gabor Hunya, Isilda Mara, Sandor Richter, Roman Stöllinger, Hermine Vidovic, Beate Muck, Cornelia Stocker-Waldhuber

Project Partners

Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)

Keywords: migration, competitiveness, international trade, economic policy, european integration, macroeconomic analysis

Countries covered: CESEE, CIS, MENA, Russia, SEE

Research Areas: International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI, Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy