A study conducted recently by the Bertelsman Foundation found that regions in Greece are among those benefitting the least from the EU’s Single Market.
The Single Market refers to the EU as one single territory without any internal borders or other regulatory obstacles whatsoever to the free movement of goods and services.
This territory includes the entire EU plus the nations of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein as well. These nations have joined the Market without being members of the EU.
The Foundation’s study calculated the gains each region’s economy recorded annually in terms of GDP per capita, due to the unfettered trade within the continent.
The report concluded that the regions benefitting most are in the small nations of the European North which have competitive economies. On the contrary, those which benefit least are those in the European East and South, due to their inherent problems regarding overall competitiveness.
The study found that the economies which gained the most from the EU Single Market are those of Switzerland, which showed an increase of €2,900 in income per capita, Luxembourg, which gained €2,800, and Ireland, which saw an increase of €1,900 per person.
On the other hand, the regions benefitting least from the Single Market have recorded a comparatively paltry annual increase of between €120 and €600 to their GDP per capita.
These regions include all the eastern and southern EU member states, including Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Portugal, the south of Spain, the south of Italy, and Greece.
The average increase in GDP per capita for the nation of Greece as a whole was approximately €400.
Attica had the country’s highest increase in income.
Despite the massive inequalities in income which have persisted over the years, the study found that every single region of the nations in the EU’s Single Market had recorded an increase in income per capita.