The Global
Competitiveness Report
by the World Economic Forum

Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the prospects for a sustained economic recovery remain at risk due to a widespread failure on the part of leaders and policy-makers to put in place reforms necessary to underpin competitiveness and bring about much-needed increases in productivity.

The report sets Italy at the 43rd place in the ranking of the 137 most competitive economies. The 10 most competitive countries are in the order: Switzerland, USA, Singapore, Netherland, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, UK, Japan, and Finland. China is positioned at the 27th place.

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European Innovation Scoreboards

by the European Commission

The European Innovation Scoreboards provide a comparative assessment of research and innovation performance in Europe. The scoreboards help countries and regions identify the areas they need to address. Compared to 2014, innovation performance has increased in 15 EU countries, while it declined in 13 others. 

In the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015 Sweden has confirmed its innovation leadership. It is followed by Denmark, Finland, and Germany as European Innovation Leaders.

Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovenia and the UK are “Innovation followers” with innovation performance above or close to that of the EU average. 

The performance of Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain is below that of the EU average. These countries are “Moderate innovators”. Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania are “Modest innovators” with innovation performance well below that of the EU average.

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Regional Innovation Scoreboards

by the European Commission

The Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS) provides a comparative assessment of how European regions perform with regard to innovation.


The report covers 190 regions across the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. The Regional Innovation Scoreboard is based on the methodology of the Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS). The 2014 Regional Innovation Scoreboard classifies the European regions into four innovation performance groups, similarly to the Innovation Union Scoreboard.


All the EU regional innovation leaders (27 regions) are located in only eight EU Member States: Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom. This indicates that innovation excellence is concentrated in relatively few areas in Europe.

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European Public Sector Innovation Scoreboard

2013 - Pilot
by the European Commission

Following the Europe 2020 Innovation Union flagship initiative, the European Commission launched a pilot European Public Sector Innovation Scoreboard (EPSIS) with a view to improving the ability to benchmark the innovation performance of the public sector in Europe.


The ultimate ambition is to capture and present public sector innovation in a similar way to countries’ innovation performance in the Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS) and thereby encourage and facilitate innovation activity across the public sector.


The 2013 pilot EPSIS is the first EU wide attempt to better understand and assess innovation in the public sector. This pilot study belongs to the family of the European Innovation Scoreboards: the annual Innovation Union Scoreboard and the Regional Innovation Scoreboard published every second year.

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Africa: Still Rising?

by Giovanni Carbone - ISPI

After decades of unsatisfying performances, economic growth took off in many sub-Saharan states at the beginning of the 21st century. More recently, however, the end of the commodity cycle – particularly with the oil price drop – and the rise of jihadist violence rocked the “Emerging Africa” boat.

Is this the beginning of the end for sustained growth in the region? This Report investigates the economic impact of these new challenges upon Africa’s frontier markets. It shows that the positive economic trajectory of recent years is being negatively affected, particularly for oil-exporting countries. However, while more caution is needed, Africa’s growth prospects on the whole remain fairly good – at least for now.But there is an increasing need to understand the specific risks that individual countries face and the opportunities that they offer, as well as to re-assess the potential of each specific sector of economic activity. The three largest economies in the region – Nigeria, South Africa and Angola – are all under pressure. Others, including Ethiopia, Mozambique and Kenya, are still projected to achieve remarkable growth rates.

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ERISC Phase II: How food prices link environmental constraints to sovereign credit risk 

by UNEP 

Governments are increasingly coming to realize that climate change could have a significant impact on their economy. They should also recognize that the consumption patterns of their populations can have environmental and economic impacts far beyond their borders. Countries with the highest consumption levels, thus contributing most to global environmental degradation, often face little risk themselves from the food price shocks that can occur as a consequence of environmental degradation and climate change. Conversely, countries facing the largest negative economic effects from food price shocks are poorer countries which have played little or no part in causing environmental constraints to expanded food production.

By taking steps towards more sustainable production and consumption, higher-income countries can help to alleviate the demand pressures that result in higher and more volatile food prices, thereby reducing both the food security and the economic risks facing poorer countries. A new report, ERISC Phase II: How food prices link environmental constraints to sovereign credit risk, encourages governments, investors, credit rating agencies and banks to work together to further investigate the linkages between environmental risks and economic and socio-political impacts, and to better integrate this information into country risk assessments and investment decisions.

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