First of all, in an age where #migration is a hotly debated topic, such reports simply pop up on my radar. And in that context it's interesting to see the leader in #Europe in terms of "first residence permits" which are residence permits issued to someone for the first time (hence the name :-) is not #Germany which has been making such grand stances on immigration in recent years but one of the 2 Central European countries (#Hungary being the other one) that's often cited in the press for being anti-immigrant. What this report makes clear is that the "#immigration debate" in #Europe is a political one and namely about refugees and the rights of nation-states within a common union.
Second of all, it reminds us that growth in Central Europe is strong. #Poland and #Hungary are both struggling with serious labor shortages. According to Eurostat, #Poland issued 683,000 first residence permits beating #Germany at 535,000 and #France at only 250,000. It's also interesting to note that #Britain, which is leaving the #EU granted 517,000.
There is a deeper trend here that is, I believe, missed by many, especially #Americans who don't follow European matters closely and Central European matters as a subdivision within #Europe even less. The issue is this. #European economic growth is not great and is varied across #Europe. Politically #Europe is struggling internally. We need only look at the latest #German elections and #Merkel's statements to see this. Britain will exit in about 6 months.
Who is filling the power vacuum in #Europe? Very slowly but surely, it's the Central European nations. They are adopting challenging political policies. They are close together in general. They are economically strong and have been for awhile. And, counter to what you might think from reading the political debates, they are open economies that are attracting new residents to Europe at a high rate.
It is just a subtle shift in power that should be of interest to those following geopolitics and economics. Only time will tell us what it means, but it will change the dynamic in Europe. My hope is that it is a change for good where Central European economies provide some competition within Europe and continue to support broader EU growth.
Whatever it means politically, from an economic and business perspective, clearly Central Europe, remains a good investment opportunity and will remain one for awhile.