Monday

23rd Apr 2018

Prague and Bratislava richer than most old EU states

  • The Eurovea shopping mall in Bratislava (Photo: theodevil)

The Prague region in the Czech Republic and the Bratislava region in Slovakia are among the richest in the EU. But by and large, the bloc still suffers from a massive east-west income gap.

EU figures out on Thursday (24 February) show that people in Prague have a GDP per capita measured in terms of purchasing power for locally-priced goods and services (PPS) of €43,200 and in Bratislava of €41,800.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The levels are not high compared to Europe's traditional centres of wealth - inner London (€85,800), Luxembourg (€70,000) and Brussels (€54,100).

But with the former Communist and Soviet member states still often seen as the poor cousins of long-term EU members, the Czech and Slovak capitals are richer than any part of Austria, Greece, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal or Spain.

The Prague region was already the 12th wealthiest in the EU just after enlargement in 2005. But six years ago Bratislava had a GDP per capita, PPS of €33,124 and was not even in the EU top 15.

The fresh numbers come as the EU gears up for another major redistribution of wealth in the 2014 to 2020 EU budget, with former Communist countries worried that the richer west will be less inclined to largesse than in the past due to the economic crisis.

They also come amid a debate on living standards caused by the EU-IMF bail-outs for Greece and Ireland.

With Germans complaining that they are being made to foot the bill for Greek and Irish profligacy, the figures show that southern and eastern Ireland (€37,000) is much richer than many parts of Germany. And with Slovakia last year opting out of the EU bail-out for Greece on grounds of relative penury, they show that the richest part of Greece (€28,300) lags far behind the Slovak capital.

The old truths are still true in terms of the overall east-west divide, however.

The 15 poorest regions in the EU are all in former Communist countries. Bulgaria and Romania dominate the low end of the table, followed by Poland and Hungary. The poorest region in the whole bloc - Severozapaden in Bulgaria - has a GDP per capita, PPS of just €7,100, meaning that people there are 10 times less well-off in real terms than those in London.

Putting the numbers into a broader perspective, the poorest people in the world in absolute terms are in Burundi, which has a GDP per capita of €121, according to the World Bank. The richest are in the tiny EU tax havens of Monaco (over €150,000) and Liechtenstein (over €100,000).

Correction: this story was amended at 12.15 Brussels time on 25 February to take out a mistake about relative Irish-German wealth

Magazine

Decision day for EU agencies relocation race

EU ministers will decide on the future location of two London-based EU agencies on Monday. In this edition of EUobserver's Regions & Cities magazine, we take a closer look at some of the EU agencies.

Magazine

The EU Agencies Race

In this edition of EUobserver's Regions & Cities magazine, we take a closer look at some of the EU agencies, exploring how their location matters and the benefits for cities and regions to host them.

Magazine

History of the agencies (re)shuffle

The history of how EU agency seats were established shows that political deal-making, not logic or objective criteria, is the decisive factor.

EU medicines agency reveals new home preferences

Staff said they preferred to move to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Milan, or Vienna. More than 70% said they would quit if the agency moved to Athens, Bratislava, Bucharest, Helsinki, Malta, Sofia, Warsaw, or Zagreb.

Magazine

Frontex puts down roots in Poland

Frontex, the EU border and coastguard agency, will grow three-fold in five years. It will build a new office in the Polish capital despite rising tensions over migration policy between Warsaw and Brussels.

Magazine

The EU Agencies Race

In this edition of EUobserver's Regions & Cities magazine, we take a closer look at some of the EU agencies, exploring how their location matters and the benefits for cities and regions to host them.

News in Brief

  1. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  2. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  3. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  4. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement
  5. Nahles elected new leader of Germany's SPD
  6. Report: EU budget to refocus on South
  7. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  8. MEPs urge better protection for journalists

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  2. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  3. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  5. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  6. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  7. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  8. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  9. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  10. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  12. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations

Latest News

  1. Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack
  2. European Commission proposes whistleblower protection law
  3. Secrecy of VW fraud report 'unacceptable', says MEP
  4. 'Strong suspicion' of corruption in Council of Europe assembly
  5. France tightens immigration law, sparking division
  6. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  7. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  8. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes