Europe hits the news headlines with increasing frequency these days. In addition to the faltering economy, domestic politics supply ample doses of uncertainty, testy intra-EU relations, and mounting social tensions. For businesses exposed to the European political and economic cycles, five potential risks stand out for 2014: deflation, a gas war, a third recession, a breakdown in trade negotiations, and political gridlock.
Global Economy, Competitiveness, Government Policy
Between 2009 and 2014, international rankings for ease of doing business improved in only about a third of 29 European economies. This would justify the (cautious) concern about European business slipping in competitiveness. The pro-business climate has decayed more in some countries than in others but the deteriorating trend is consistent across multiple rankings.