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Following a surge in the past few decades, the UK ranks 3rd in the 2012 IEPG (6th GDP and population of 64,231,000). Since 1990, when it was 5th, it has overtaken Russia, Japan and France. The improvement lies on both the economic and soft dimensions, but mostly on the latter. United Kingdom is the only country in the EU, together with Slovenia, in which the weight of this dimension increases over the years, from 40% in 1990 to 53% of total IEPG in 2012 –versus 43% of the economic dimension–. In fact, it is the soft presence that allows the United Kingdom to maintain its position over China. Conversely, the military aspect of global presence has dropped sharply from 26% in 1990 to a bare 3.5% in 2012.
The United Kingdom’s economic presence is also significant. It is the 5th world exporter, especially prominent in energy and primary goods. It holds 2nd place in Services –United Kingdom’s status as a financial hub could be a decisive factor – and in Investments. Indeed, the recent increases in primary goods, services and investments, have caused a slight increase in the contribution of economic presence to IEPG in the past year. Although the growth of soft variables has slowed, it sharply increases in sports after the Olympic Games in London.
In terms of intra-European presence, the United Kingdom occupies the 2nd position according to the Elcano European Presence Index (IEPE). It is the Member State that has most benefited, in terms of intra-European presence and since 2005, from the adherence to the European Union. As in global terms, and in contrast to other European countries, the British presence in Europe is based mainly on soft variables that account for 56% of total IEPE in 2012. It is the European country with the largest presence in this dimension, on the basis of migration, sports, culture, information, science and education.
More data and info on the Elcano Global Presence Index website.