Membership of the European Union's single market boosts per capita income in Estonia by €445 per year, according to findings.
The research, cited by ERR's online Estonian news, has been conducted by Bertelsmann Stiftung, the German mass media company, and notes that along with the four freedoms – concerning the movement of people, goods, services and capital – membership of the world's largest economic area puts on average €445 into the pocket of every Estonian citizen per annum.
This, however, is little over half the overall EU average of €840, the research finds.
As a ''periphery'' country, Estonia's figure is fairly par for the course. For instance the southernmost region of Spain, Andalucía, receives even less financial benefit via per capita income per year, at €380, as a result of single market membership. For some regions of Bulgaria, the figure is below €200 per capita, per year.
Conversely, some core regions (Estonia is treated as one region, but other, larger countries are subdivided into regions, of which there are 250 across the union) receive a much larger boost, in excess of €2,000 per capita, per annum. This includes the major financial sectors Zürich and London, as well as southern and eastern Ireland.
The reason given for this disparity is due in part to a competitiveness lag. Smaller countries with strong exports have also seen larger benefits to domestic pocket books, the report says.
The European Parliamentary elections are on May 26.
Editor: Andrew Whyte