This Study brings light to the economic factors that contribute to sustainable growth in the European Union (EU) and investigates the political feasibility of economic reforms enhancing such factors. It also explores the aspects influencing competitiveness and fostering convergence and cohesion at EU and Member State levels.
Based on an analysis of economic performance in the EU since 2000, Member States are classified in three groups according to their competitiveness pattern – Leading, Following or Catching-up. Structured interviews with representatives of EU and national institutions and think tanks, conducted on a group of targeted countries, identify the impact of the political environment on the success and failure of reform implementation to draw up best practices for each of these groups. A review of international experience in reform implementation completes the analysis. The conclusions are presented under the form of economic and political recommendations at both Member State and EU level. They include a proposed timeframe for implementation according to the nature of the Member State's competitiveness.