The Danish and German economies have benefited most from the expansion of the single European market based on the study published by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German non-profit foundation. Over more than two decades, German real gross domestic product went up by an average of 37 billion euros annually which equals to a yearly increase in per capita income by 450 euros. Danish nationals have seen a yearly income rise of 500 euro over the same period. Austria and Finland logged the third and the fourth position respectively with the rise of 200 euros per capita each followed by Belgium and Sweden, both with gains of 180 euros. In contrast, countries that benefited the least from the expansion are the crisis-battered southern economies. Italy gained 80 euros per capita, Spain and Greece 70 euros each and Portugal increased its per capita income by only 20 euros annually.
The research study is based on the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s own devised econometric index, which qualifies the EU single market’s impact on growth, taking into account the 14 states belonging to the EU before the big expansion in 2004. Luxembourg was not included due to the insufficient data. Bertelsmann Stiftung also counted which countries would have lost the most in the absence of the 10-country expansion in 2004. Again, Denmark and Germany would lead the chart with the loss of more than 2 percent of their per capita GDP in 2012 if there was no single European market. This would have meant a loss of 720 euro annually in Denmark and 650 euro annually in Germany. The study concludes that Greece would be the only country which would have gained from the absence of the EU single market. Its GDP would be higher by 1.3 percent equivalent to 190 euro per capita.