The region of the Slovak capital, Bratislava, ended in eighth position in the latest ranking of economic performance of EU regions. It outstripped such prospering regions as that of Paris in 10th position and Vienna, in 20th position. While experts warn that this statistic is misleading and not reflective of the real situation, the problem is that it is the basic factor for the distribution of EU funds amongst individual EU regions. As a consequence, the Bratislava region cannot enjoy a full portion of EU funds.
“This ranking is actually useless,” Zdenko Štefanides, chief economist at VÚB bank, told The Slovak Spectator. “It is probably obvious for everybody, except the clerks at Eurostat, that Bratislava is not better off than Vienna.”
The Bratislava Self-Governing Region (BSK) perceives the current manner of measuring the development of EU regions as unobjective. For a long time it has been searching for possibilities on how to consider the difference between the economic power and living standards of citizens.
“The Bratislava region is one of the most active critics of the method of measuring the development of the EU regions on the basis of only one indicator,” Veronika Beňadiková, spokesperson of BSK, told The Slovak Spectator. “Because of this the Bratislava region has joined a pilot project of the European Commission, introducing the index of social development in the EU regions.”
This index should define countries’ social progress on the basis of 50 indicators. Consistent and measurable indicators for EU regions should also be provided, especially in the social and environmental field, while economic indicators are deliberately omitted.
Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union, in late February published its regular statistics on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 281 EU regions. It read that in 2017, regional GDP per capita, expressed in terms of purchasing power standards, ranged from 31 percent of the EU average in the Bulgarian region of the North-West, to 626 percent of the average in Inner London - West in the United Kingdom.
The Bratislava region was ranked in eighth position with 179 percent. It came out ahead of such regions like Stockholm, Vienna, Île-de-France and Warsaw, while Prague was ranked seventh.Economic growth was disappointing at the end of the year Read more
Experts do not agree with what this statistic indicates, i.e. that the Bratislava region is better performing than regions of Vienna or Paris.