As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
The 2013 edition of the Regional Competitiveness Index  (RCI) has been launched by the JRC, in collaboration with the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional Policy. The RCI was first published in 2010 and shows that competitiveness has a strong regional dimension, which national level indicators cannot capture.
The RCI 2013 shows the strengths and weaknesses of the EU regions. EU countries with a high variation in regional competitiveness should consider to what extent the gaps are harmful for their national competitiveness and if these gaps can be reduced. For example, the difference between the capital region and the second most competitive region in Romania, Slovakia and France is very wide, while regional competitiveness in Germany does not show any big jumps. The RCI can provide a guide to what each region should focus on, taking into account its specific situation and its overall level of development.
A lack of regional spill-overs was noted again in particular around the capitals of some of the EU countries which are lagging behind. The crisis in these countries may have limited the potential growth in regional spill-overs, but in the medium-term such spill-overs should be strengthened since the overall competitiveness of a country depends on the performance of all its regions, and not just its capital region.
The RCI update includes more data and method refinements. Numerous suggestions and remarks have been integrated in the new edition, especially those collected from region representatives, journalists, researchers and Chambers of Commerce.
As the result of a close interaction with the World Economic Forum (WEF) group responsible for the Global Competitiveness Index, a summary of the RCI 2013 outcome has been published in the last annual edition of the Global Competitiveness Report , presented by the WEF in China last September.