The new edition of the Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI) shows the continuing strength of the capital regions and other regions with metropolitan areas. In the northwest of the EU, these competitive regions generate substantially spatial spillovers, improving the competitiveness of the neighbouring regions. In eastern and southern Member States, however, being close to the capital region does not seem to boost competitiveness.
Compared to the two previous editions, published in 2010 and 2013, Malta and several regions in France, Germany, Sweden and the UK have improved their score, while the scores declined in Cyprus and regions in Greece, Ireland and more recently in the Netherlands. In eastern EU regions competitiveness has mostly remained stable.
New online and interactive scorecards allow for easy benchmarking of a region relative to all other regions, as well as to regions with a similar GDP per head.
The RCI builds on the approach of the Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum. It covers a wide range of issues including innovation, governance, transport and digital infrastructure, and measures of health and human capital. A growing number of regions use it to identify their strengths and weaknesses and shape their development strategies.