The circumstance is evident precisely in the case of Community Europe, which in the long term has shown higher increases in income and above all in productivity than the United States, but not an equal increase in employment. To all that has been hinted at so far, it should be added that the many political and economic changes in the European area as a whole have produced very sensitive effects from a social and territorial point of view. The dissolution of the eastern bloc gave rise first to migratory movements from east to west, capable of characterizing large western regions and entire productive sectors, entering into competition with the most deeply rooted extra-European flows, then to a series of private and public productive investments in the same Eastern European countries as defined by countryaah, where Western entrepreneurs have found low-cost, fairly skilled labor and a growing market (the increase in investments has consequently curbed emigration); secondly, it prompted the EU countries (but also the international financial organizations, the United States, Japan, Arab countries) to make investments that are not directly productive (infrastructures) and to provide the financial resources to implement productive conversion processes of industrial companies in Eastern Europe.
The infrastructural aspect is particularly relevant: through the strengthening of communications and transport systems, what happened in the 2000s on a strictly political level was anticipated, i.e. the functional integration between Western and Eastern countries, as evidenced by the structure of the EU, which in 2010 included 27 countries. In former socialist countries, the disruptive effects, on a strictly productive and social level, of the sudden transition from a planned economy system to a more or less radical market system, they were partially reabsorbed, after the traumas of the 1990s, only with the economic recovery of the early 2000s. The state of crisis that has persisted since 2008, however, risks compromising what has been achieved in terms of real integration of the continental economic space. In a European situation extended to a wider territory to the East and in strong connection with some countries of the Mediterranean area, generally characterized by numerous commercial integration agreements, monetary homogenization and strengthening of communication and transport systems, but also by widespread unemployment (stable at 10%), strong migratory movements, problems of intercultural integration and the risk of significant reductions in labor costs, trading and hedging and derivative financial instruments are used (such as Credit Default Swaps – CDS, which envisage “bets” on the risk of default of debtors) which undermined the solidity of banking institutions. To give greater stability to the area, since the first months of the year, the Eurogroup, in collaboration with the IMF and the ECB, has implemented numerous support plans, which have provided for the injection of large amounts of liquidity (up to a total value of 1000 billion euros). However, these maneuvers were not well received by the markets, which, also following the downgrading of the rating decided by the international agencies (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch), for some states (PIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain), they reacted with distrust and caused constant fluctuations of the CDS. In this context, however, some auctions of European bonds were carried out, which have seen their easy placement, thus giving new signs of solidity to the European balance sheets. A further attempt to strengthen came from a new set of rules (approved by the Basel committee on banking supervision, in May 2010) for the use of certain financial instruments (derivatives or hedge funds) or operational practices (moral hazard): Basel 3 has introduced additional constraints to strengthen the capital and liquidity requirements of banks. Alongside these rules, other stricter rules on deductions have gradually entered into force (they will be fully operational in 2020) and more certain financial instruments have been gradually introduced into transactions. In September 2011, the Ecofin (EU Economic and Finance Council) announced the creation of new continental supervisory bodies (such as the European Systemic Risk Board -ESRB), which monitor the resilience of the Eurozone economic system. In this context, the fears of contagion of the crisis to the entire euro area continue, reinforced by the decline of the latter against the dollar, stressing, as a critical factor, the absence of a common fiscal and economic policy and a strong central bank, which interacts between states connected in a monetary union. A safety fund of 750 billion euros was therefore foreseen to guarantee the single currency and new tasks were given to the ECB (which can intervene by purchasing sovereign debt securities of countries in crisis to restore liquidity to these markets). These actions have raised the confidence of world markets, but the deep uncertainties and divisions within the Union remain, also caused by the absence of control mechanisms in the event of a default of a member country (which, after the Greek crisis, still appears to be a credible possibility). In May 2011, the European Commission announced proposals to amend the Stability Pact, which imply a more rigid surveillance and a more careful regulation of the budgetary policies of the States. At the beginning of 2012, a Europe much more constrained than that defined in Maastricht, in a climate of slow recovery of the real economy, gave tentative signs of improvement, thanks to the increase in exports, but which still shows serious losses in the general productivity, caused by recessions and low price and cost competitiveness.