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Thursday, 22nd December 2011

Achieving Sustainable Austerity

Source: European Policy Centre

To examine economic sustainability in more detail, the European Policy Centre developed the European Economic Sustainability Index (EESI) in 2010. This Policy Brief updates the EESI with the most recent data. Not only does it take into account deficits (average 2011-2012) and debt levels (2011), but also considers growth forecasts (average 2011-2012)

Furthermore, the EESI is oriented towards the long term: it incorporates the Global Competitiveness Index (2011), the Corruption Perceptions Index (2011) and the Labour Market Adjusted Dependency Ratio (2011). These provide indications of how an economy is likely to perform in future. All these different factorsare combined in the EESI to produce a relative ranking for all EU-27 countries...

The results of the 2011 EESI show that there is some constancy at both the bottom and the top of the index. The Scandinavian countries perform best, managing to address both short and long- term challenges. The Netherlands is also in the top category – a slight improvement on the 2010 index.

Estonia remains the best-performing country among the EU’s Central and Eastern European member states (CEE-MS), although it is no longer quite in the highest category. Germany, Austria and Luxembourg also perform well, followed by the UK, which performs relatively well on long-term indicators. Cyprus and Lithuania have managed to move out of the danger zone, while Slovakia has slipped from the middle of the field into danger. Compared with the 2010 EESI, the rankings of Latvia, Lithuania and Cyprus have shown the most impressive improvement, while Bulgaria and particularly Slovakia have declined most.

Of the euro-crisis countries, Portugal has improved significantly by moving out of the unsustainable categoryviii, joining Spain, which has remained in danger. At the bottom of the index, Italy and Greece remain a long way behind the other countries. The situation in both countries is clearly unsustainable.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

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