EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy, went to Saint Malo to participate in the 41th General Assembly and the 40th anniversary of the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime regions (CRPM) of Europe. (EC Audiovisual Services, 26/09/2013).

Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy, went to Saint Malo to participate in the 41th General Assembly and the 40th anniversary of the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime regions (CRPM) of Europe. (EC Audiovisual Services, 26/09/2013).

Predictably, regional statistics on employment, incomes and the risk of poverty could mirror in a more accurate way, how the economic crisis has affected the more deprived and the moret affluent regions of the European Union. National averages can serve well the comparative analysis between EU’s member states. Regional data however would go deeper in this respect and serve as the magnifying glass of the differences between the haves and the have-nots. To serve this purpose Eurostat, the statistical service of the European Union, produced its 2013 regional yearbook offering a more detailed view of the EU through regional statistics.

Labour market developments

Starting from the labour market situation Eurostat found that the worst hit regions belong to south Europe and the eight ex eastern bloc countries. Among the 43 regions where the employment rate decreased by five percentage points or more between 2008 and 2011, “15 were in Spain, nine in Greece, six in Bulgaria, three in Portugal, both regions of Ireland, both regions of Croatia, two in Romania, one in France as well as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Among the 36 regions which had an increase in their employment rate of more than one percentage point during the same period, 25 were in Germany, three each in France and Poland , two in Romania , one in the United Kingdom as well as Malta and Luxembourg”.

With very rare exeptions, developments in the labour market were predictable. The over-indebtedness crisis hit and the low-income countries had the worst record of unemployment during the past five years, while the core EU nations didn’t pay any price at all. What was not expected however is that the number of regions with large unemployment and employment increases are comparable, 43 to 36. This is a revelation because one may think that Germany profited from the woes of others.

It wasn’t only the exports to China that supported the increase of employment in the 25 German regions during the 2008-2011 four-year period. Internal market has greatly helped this country to ‘steal’ jobs from the rest of EU regions, through its made easy intra EU exports. The level playing field the EU has created for the German industrial products has deprived the less competitive EU countries from their traditional defences, in the borders and within the borders.

Now the rest of the EU is quite defenceless vis-à-vis the Teutonic productivity, which is propelled by the federal government’s formidable ability for national economic planning. In a Germanic way the country’s society follows without difficulty the central authority when it plans and imposes for example a five-year zero salary and wages increases. This is what has happened during the past few years, having greatly increased Germany’s competitiveness.

Poverty follows unemployment

After having discussed the employment-unemployment developments in EU’s regions it is ease to predict which parts of the EU are more at risk of poverty. According to Eurostat, “In the EU28 in 2011, 29% of the population in thinly populated areas were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, compared with 23% in densely populated areas and 21% in intermediate density areas. In seventeen Member States (most of them located in Eastern and Southern Europe), the thinly populated areas had the highest at -risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rates, in eight Member States (mainly in Western Europe), it was the densely populated areas and in three Member States the intermediate density areas”.

From this Eurostat quote it becomes obvious that the risk of poverty and the population density are closely and inversely related. It is exactly the same patent that unemployment follows. It’s not then by chance that Western Europe is very densely populated, while the south and the east are more scarcely inhabited. It is as if unemployment and poverty risks pick along the wide geographical corridor which starts from the north-east corner of the EU then comes southwards down to the Mediterranean and then goes westwards following the south coast of the old continent.

It is as if the core EU countries of Western Europe having a back yard, to insulate them from the south-eastern winds. The good thing is that those ‘two parts’ are inseparable.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Syria: Urgent, concrete actions needed, to protect children too young to ‘make sense of this senseless war’

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

Young people all over the world come together to demand paid good quality internships

IMF asks Europe to decide on bank resolutions and the Greek Gordian knot

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

De Gucht: More gaffes with the talks on the EU-US free trade agreement

These countries are the most peaceful – in 3 charts

A neo-liberal toll free Paradise for the super rich and tax hell for wage earners

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

New book honours UN women who made HERstory

Half of Eurozone in deflation expecting salvation from monetary measures

Venezuela: UN human rights office calls for ‘maximum restraint’ by authorities in face of new demonstrations

Is “Sustainable Development” a concept that integrates Health Literacy and Health Policy as a global health action?

Parliament criticises Council’s rejection of money laundering blacklist

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

China, forever new adventures

Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’, say MEPs

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

G20 LIVE: The European Sting covers online world news and the latest developments at G20 from Antalya Turkey

Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon

EU-US to miss 2015 deadline and even lose Germany’s support in TTIP’s darkest week yet

These rules could save humanity from the threat of rogue AI

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for more efforts to ensure adoption of security proposals

Mosul’s ‘3D contamination’ adds to challenges of deadly mine clearance work

Health Committee MEPs back plans to boost joint assessment of medicines

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: UN Climate Chief Calls for Final Push to Meet Adaptation Fund Goal Very Close to Target

UN condemns attack that leaves one ‘blue helmet’ dead in Central African Republic

Young people are not a nameless, faceless mass. So why do we treat them as such?

UN chief welcomes DR Congo President’s promise to stand down

UN rights chief ‘alarmed’ by upsurge in attacks against civilians in Syria’s Idlib

UN chief lauds Fijians as ‘natural global leaders’ on climate, environment, hails ‘symbiotic relationship’ with land and sea

Assassinations in Ethiopia amidst regional ‘coup’ attempt, condemned by UN chief

UN sounds alarm as Venezuelan refugees and migrants passes three million mark

Europe split in confronting the US sanctions on Iran, Washington isolated

What the global Internet’s stakeholders can learn from Europe’s new data law

Civil society organisations disenchanted with “Youth Guarantee”

Pedro Sánchez: We must protect Europe, so Europe can protect its citizens

Fashion has a huge waste problem. Here’s how it can change

Where America’s refugees came from in 2018

Sochi not far away from Ukraine

Is it too soon to hope for a tobacco free Romania?

How Eurozone consumers spend their income when they have one…

Uncovered liabilities of €5 billion may render EU insolvent

Why climate change matters for future health professionals

The AI doctor won’t see you now

Seize the opportunities of digital technology to improve well-being but also address the risks

“C’est la vie”? French recession and unemployment to linger in Eurozone

INTERVIEW: Poverty, education and inclusion top new General Assembly President’s priority list

Rare Disease Day: a new EU platform to support better diagnosis and treatment

6 things to know about the General Assembly as UN heads into high level week

COP21 Business update: Companies urge now for carbon pricing as coal is still a big issue

Facebook has built an AI-based tool that fixes the social network when it crashes

OECD Donor countries need to reform development finance to meet 2030 pledge

Member states jeopardising the rule of law will risk losing EU funds

UN committed ‘to support the Libyan people’ as Guterres departs ‘with deep concern and a heavy heart’

It’s not your imagination, summers are getting hotter

The Amazon is reaching a dangerous tipping-point. We need to scale solutions now if we have any chance of saving it

A 550 km-long mass of rotting seaweed is heading for Mexico’s pristine beaches

French full-body veil ban, violated women’s freedom of religion: UN Human Rights Committee

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s