Since 2012, the Financial Times magazine has published a list of the top ten European cities This year’s ranking collected data from 505 locations in five categories including economic potential, human capital and lifestyle, cost-effectiveness, connectivity, and business friendliness.
For the sixth category, applications can be submitted in connection with a city’s fDi strategy; this year, there were 161 applications scored by the fDi jury.
In 2018, Debrecen took first place in the small cities category due to its capital-attracting investment strategy. Because of this, the city received the title of European City of the Future, which it could use for two years.
This time around, Debrecen took second place behind the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik — it has been the only Central and Eastern European settlement in the top three in this category for two consecutive years. Among the big European cities, Budapest received fourth place, while Miskolc finished in fifth place in the small cities category.
In addition to cities, regions were also awarded. For medium-sized regions in Europe, the Northern Great Plain region of Hungary ranked third in the cost-effectiveness category, after regions in Bosnia and Romania.
Since the last decision, the economy of Debrecen has strengthened significantly, partially due to BMW Group opening a new plant there.
The results overall are in line with the strategic objective of Hungary’s National Investment Agency (HIPA), which seeks to provide the same level of support to fDi investors across the country, building on the cooperation of the respective municipalities.