22nd Oct 2020

EU business slips down global list

The EU has plenty of catching up to do if it is to succeed in its goal of becoming the most competitive economy in the World by 2010.

EU companies are slipping down the list when it comes to competing with their American counterparts. The Business Week global top 1000 - which lists the top 1000 companies in the World by market capitalisation - leaves the European business community with plenty of work to do.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The list, published in the latest edition of Business Week, boasts only two EU companies in the top 10. These are the Anglo-Dutch company Shell, ranked 8th, and British Petroleum (BP) ranked 9th. However, both of these companies have slipped down a place since last year, despite profiting from higher oil prices due to the Iraq conflict.

British companies dominate the upper echelons of the EU list, with telecommunications giant Vodafone, HSBC bank and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline ranked 12th, 14th and 16th respectively. The first non-British EU firm comes in at 24 in the ranking - occupied by French oil company Total.

Far from Lisbon goals

Overall, EU companies are conspicuous by their absence in the top 100, occupying just 30 places, compared to 57 American firms. This is especially surprising given the current high levels of the euro against the US dollar, which makes a company appear more valuable when its market capitalisation is measured in US dollars, as in this list.

In 2000, the EU set itself the goal of becoming the most competitive, knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. This process is known as the Lisbon agenda. On this evidence, the EU has some way to go before it can claim to have fulfilled its Lisbon goals.

Germany asks capitals to give a little in EU budget impasse

European Parliament negotiators are demanding €39bn in new funding for EU programmes such as Horizon research and Erasmus, in talks with the German EU presidency on the budget. Meanwhile, rule-of-law enforcement negotiations have only just begun.

EU budget talks suspended in fight for new funds

MEPs are requesting additional, new funding of €39bn for 15 EU programs. The German presidency argues that budget ceilings, agreed by EU leaders at a marathon summit in July, will be impossible to change without a new leaders' meeting.

EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link

Divisions among EU governments remain between those who want to suspend EU funds if rule of law is not respected, and those who want to narrow down conditionality.

MEPs warn of 'significant gaps' in budget talks

The budget committee chair said the European Parliament expects tangible improvements to the package in its talks with member states - while the German minister argued that the EU leaders' deal was difficult enough.

Top EU officials urge MEPs give quick budget-deal approval

MEPs criticised the EU deal on the budget and recovery package clinched by leaders after five days of gruelling talks, saying it is not enough "future-oriented", and cuts too deeply into EU policies, including health, innovation, defence and humanitarian aid

News in Brief

  1. Ireland first EU state to re-impose full lockdown
  2. EU countries agree farm policy reform
  3. EU corona-bonds attracted huge demand
  4. France seeks Putin's help on counter-terrorism
  5. Cyber attacks 'targeted health system during pandemic'
  6. Greece asks EU countries to halt military exports to Turkey
  7. Covid-19: Spain considers curfews in hardest-hit areas
  8. Study: Air pollution costs Europeans €1,276 per year

EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link

Divisions among EU governments remain between those who want to suspend EU funds if rule of law is not respected, and those who want to narrow down conditionality.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersUN Secretary General to meet with Nordic Council on COVID-19
  3. UNESDAWell-designed Deposit Return Schemes can help reach Single-Use Plastics Directive targets
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  6. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity

Latest News

  1. 'Big majority' of citizens want EU funds linked to rule of law
  2. EU declares war on Malta and Cyprus passport sales
  3. EU Commission's Libya stance undercut by internal report
  4. Backroom deal will make CAP reform a catastrophic failure
  5. EU money used by neo-Nazi to promote Holocaust denial
  6. Over 80% of Europe's habitats in poor or bad condition
  7. EU's Brexit move could end deadlock in talks
  8. EU's migrants more at risk from coronavirus

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us