Business Dynamics in Western Europe

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Jan 2019

Western Europe offers one of the best business environments in the world with an extremely sophisticated IT infrastructure. Yet, increasing divisiveness due to growing income inequality, further escalated by an increased flow of migrants and rising populism, is threatening future political stability, while Brexit is adding to economic uncertainty.

Want to find out more about this report?
Request more information
Why buy this report?

Gain competitive intelligence about market leaders. Track key industry trends, opportunities and threats. Inform your marketing, brand, strategy and market development, sales and supply functions.

Your Recently Viewed Reports

Business Dynamics in Western Europe

Key Findings

Threat of political instability growing

Western Europe has one of the best business environments in the world but growing income inequality coupled with immigration has led to divisive societies, triggering populist movements resulting in outcomes such as Brexit. On the other hand, Turkey is an emerging power within the region and France is fast updating its policies to align more closely with the principles of the free market economy.

Labour market deregulation to boost investment

The prolonged period of economic recession since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 has led to legislative changes that make it easier for businesses to hire and fire people. Labour market reforms are simplifying business in the region, although there is a risk of widening income inequality that could threaten political stability in the future. Greece’s labour market remains particularly rigid, creating challenges for employers.

Technology creating opportunities for youth

Western Europe has the third largest youth unemployment rate in the world, led by Greece where nearly half its young workforce were unemployed in 2017, much of which is attributed to skills mismatch. Improving internet facilities mean that people can pursue distance learning at their own pace and the number of students in higher education has increased. At the same time, technology is also making it easier to be self-employed.

Aiming to become a global leader in IT

Western Europe is aiming to be the global leader in IT and has one of the most ambitious plans for future IT infrastructure. The EU is investing €9.2 billion to have faster and more robust networks, speedier transmission of data and more skilled IT workers by 2025.

Priority to upgrade ageing infrastructure

Western Europe suffers from an ageing transport infrastructure leading to disruptions and delays in commuting, but governments have embarked on major infrastructure projects, expected to be completed by 2030.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Operating Environment

Western Europe is easing labour market rigidities
Growing threat of political instability in Western Europe
Regulatory measures and economic growth stabilise the financial sector
Tax rates falling despite being amongst the highest

Labour Landscape

Business and gender-friendly measures boosting the labour market
Mixed picture for unemployment rates in the region
Alternative routes to regular employment helping the youth workforce
Increasing liberalisation of the labour market

Education Landscape

Turkey filling the gap to be on par with the rest of Western Europe
Budget cuts a concern at primary and secondary level education
Technology makes it easier to pursue higher education

Infrastructure Landscape

Western Europe aims to be a global leader in Information Technology (IT)
Digital communication one of the most sophisticated in the world
Western Europe invests to improve its ageing transport infrastructure

Country Snapshots

Austria: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Austria: employment and business freedom landscape
Belgium: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Belgium: employment and business freedom landscape
Denmark: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Denmark: employment and business freedom landscape
Finland: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Finland: employment and business freedom landscape
France: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
France: employment and business freedom landscape
Germany: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Germany: employment and business freedom landscape
Greece: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Greece: employment and business freedom landscape
Ireland: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Ireland: employment and business freedom landscape
Italy: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Italy: employment and business freedom landscape
Netherlands: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Netherlands: employment and business freedom landscape
Norway: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Norway: employment and business freedom landscape
Portugal: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Portugal: employment and business freedom landscape
Spain: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Spain: employment and business freedom landscape
Sweden: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Sweden: employment and business freedom landscape
Switzerland: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Switzerland: employment and business freedom landscape
Turkey: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
Turkey: employment and business freedom landscape
United Kingdom: regulatory efficiency and workforce size
United Kingdom: employment and business freedom landscape