5.6. Summary of structural determining factors

In summary, we can conclude that it has been confirmed that the Basque Country is more similar to the reference regions than to the average of European regions with regard to structural conditions, thus making it an appropriate group for comparison. Of course, there are greater similarities in some areas than in others. The greatest differences can be found in geo-demographic conditions. They are more similar in their sectoral structure, especially as regards industrial sectors (although heavy industry is somewhat more important in the Basque Country), in the larger average size of manufacturing firms and in their specialisation in physical sciences and engineering, as well as mechanical engineering technology. Sales within the region itself are also higher than the European average in both cases, and there is a slightly greater inclination to seek out non-EU markets. Lastly, a noteworthy and important characteristic when it comes to implementing policy is that they coincide in terms of a higher degree of decentralisation and the quality of public institutions.