Strategy, Politics and Competitiveness: the Decline of Europe – Best Blogs Series

English: The Institute for Innovation and Comp...

English: The Institute for Innovation and Competitiveness aim to promote innovation and competitiveness in Europe. Français : L’institut pour l’innovation et la compétitivité a pour but de promouvoir l’innovation et la compétitivité en Europe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a regular blogger, I have an unusual vantage on what’s happening in the World, especially in Europe. In the last two years, I have traveled extensively in Asia and seen how Asia’s millennials are better prepared than most of Europe’s millennials, ignoring the children of the privileged and wealthy, of course.

On a daily basis, I compare the media output from China, Russia, Europe and North America.

Let me share some of my observations.

These days, China, Russia and Japan, have strong leaders, with vision and clearly focused on strategic priorities. They are delivering enormous strategic change, improving the competitiveness of their economies.

Meanwhile, the UK, Germany, France and the US are being led by political-fixers. These political fixers focus on short-term political advantage and subordinate strategy. Politics at national, European and local level is about compromise and fire-fighting. Muddled economic thinking in Europe has led to excessive use of austerity, rather than addressing the strategic and structural challenges.

Because of the short-sightedness of political leaders in Germany, France and the UK, Europe is in decline, with enormous numbers of young people, millennials, out of work and probably facing the social exclusion of a life without work.

As an expert in strategy and delivering radical change, I see enormous waste and absence of focus. Politicians and bureaucrats at European, national and local level, are content on

English: Mao of Europe. The continental bounda...

English: Mao of Europe. The continental boundary to Asia as indicated is the standard convention following the Caucasus crest, the Urals River and the Urals Mountains to the Sea of Kara العربية: الخريطة الهجائية لأوروبا (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

feathering their own nests.

Recently, I have been blogging about the absence of an effective European policy on energy that addresses strategic challenges. I have also cited that the way that the EC paternalistically doles out funds to the likes of Cyprus is dysfunctional, politically driven, without a strategic reference point.

Any thoughts on reversing Europe’s decline?

Opinion – Trends in the UK economy | Visual – ONS – John Gelmini

Dr Alf has brought us attractive graphics and a rosy story from the ONS.

Yes, at the moment, the UK economy is doing reasonably well but even these generous figures do not give us the true picture, as many of the jobs created are zero hours contracts, others are local authority people transferred from the public sector to the books of Capita, Serco,Vertex and Vangent.

More jobs created are new companies registered at Companies House , Cardiff but where the directors have no viable business and are not being paid.

The two worrying trends are:

  1. Lack of exports with resulting growing trade gap (which has actually existed since 1981), and
  2. Abysmal productivity from UK workers.

A third worrying trend is the slippage of the City of London which provides invisible exports from 1st place to second in the world in 2012, when New York overtook it, and its projected fall to 4th after Hong Kong and Singapore overtake New York in 2016.

As Dr Alf and myself have been saying for four years on this blog, the UK desperately needs an industry strategy. Relying on financial services, especially the UK’s broken banks is an increasingly dangerous and risky folly.

John Gelmini