One constant we Basques find ourselves in when it comes time to knowing “what we’re like,” or rather, “what we are,” is the difficulty we have in finding our place among the different societies around us.
We are very used to looking at our situation in relation to the administrative context in which we find ourselves. The southern Basques look at Spain, and northern Basques at France. But are those really appropriate reference points? We’ve always had the impression that they’re not.
It would seem to us, and to all, we believe, that it would be better to know our position relative to the European Union, where there are a broad range of reference points to compare ourselves to, and which can allow us to see where we have room for improvement.
We’ve been paying quite a lot of attention, we believe, to matters related to Research and Development and to their combination with Innovation. Even back in 2014, when the EU released a study regarding this, we wondered if the Basques were content with being runners-up?
Because, we believe, this is the main issue. We are a small country, divided into three administrative realities, without raw materials and with only one major resource: our people and their skills. We can’t afford to rest on our laurels with our average investment in R&D&I in the EU, not if we want to be relevant and offer a future to our children.
And R&D&I is not the only issue we need to watch with care. That’s why we are so happy to see the services offered by Eurostat: a website where we can choose from a wide range of indicators and understand what our place is in a European context.
The table of contents:
People and society
4. Labour market
5. Living conditions
Economy and business
8. Research and innovation
9. Digital society
Environment and natural resources
Of course, there are still obstacles to knowing our position as Basques clearly. As we said before, we’re divided into three administrative realities, and one of them, the Northern Basque Country, is included within a “macroregion” in France that impedes having exact data available. In any case, these data, when converted into maps, provide an excellent tool, nonetheless.
We have three options we can consult. On the website itself, were there is a lengthy explanation of the data (in English), there is also a .pdf file with all that info, and an interactive map, which allows us to visualize the data. It is really quite a gem.
The version we bring you here is based on a set of data extracted from European statistics between March and April of 2020.
Eurostat – 2020 – Europe
Eurostat regional yearbook
The Eurostat regional yearbook is an online Eurostat publication, also downloadable in PDF format (ISBN: 978-92-76-20728-3, ISSN: 2363-1716, doi: 10.2785/98733, cat. number: KS-HA-20-001-EN-N). The articles are updated or replaced once a year (the present versions are based on a set of data that were extracted in March and April 2020). All maps can be explored interactively using Eurostat’s statistical atlas (see user manual).
The .pdf document compiling all the data: here
Interactive map: here