í@ DAVOS, SWITZERLAND, Jan. 26(Xinhuanet)-- The participants of the World Economic Forum on Wednesday painted an ebullient pictureOn the future of Europe, saying that Europe is much better shape than most people think.
Europe's productivity is as high as America's. It has been growing since the 1990s. Per capita income is growing as fast as America's, said Lord Layard, profes
sor from London School of Economics and Political Science.
The decline since 2001, he said, is due to huge United States fiscal expansion and the threefold challenges facing Europe: employment, the"completely ridiculous" debt-to-income ration mandated under the Growth and Stability Pact, and the embarrassingfact that world's ten best research universities are located in the US.
"Some say Europe is finished, frustrated, lacks dynamism and isno longer a player on the world stage. Others maintain it is a model in its own right, trying to combine economic growth, productivity and employment with social objectives, sustainabilityand environmental concerns," said Klaus Gretschmann, a high-ranking European Union(EU) official.
"Its(EU's) openness towards the rest of the world is evidencedby the enlargement process," he added.
Juhan Parts, Prime Minister of Estonia, pointed out that enlargement is success story, ushering in challenges, rather than problems, to old Europe. Key to continuing the success story is convincing Europeans that an enlarged Union can function, he added.