Since 2012, the Financial Times magazine has published a list of the top ten European cities in 5 categories. The organizers have collected data from 505 locations including data on economic potential, human capital and lifestyle, cost-effectiveness, connectivity, and business friendliness. In addition, the sixth category, the fDi strategy, can be applied for and 161 applications were submitted.
In 2018 Debrecen won first place in the small cities category among the best European cities with the best capital-attracting investment strategy. Thus, the city has received the title of the European City of the Future previously and could use it for two years. Now, Debrecen took part in the competition again and took the second place position behind the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik. Debrecen is the only Central and Eastern European city that ended up in the top 3 in this category for two consecutive years.
In the last 3 years, a number of major investments have been made in Debrecen and the region including Alföld Milk, Thyssenkrupp, Diehl Aviation and Krones, collectivley investing EUR 155 million in 2017 and creating 1,790 new jobs,
In 2018, the largest investment in the region and Europe, the new plant of BMW AG, and the relocation of Vitesco Technologies (Continental) worth 1,100 million euros, with 1,450 new jobs, were announced. Thyssenkrupp re-invested in 2019, and Bürkle, Deufol, and Amazonen-Werke Kft started their developments.
In 2020, the city management also announced the arrival of several companies (Sensirion, 4iG, BHS Trans) in Debrecen.
The performance of the three years (2017-2020) resulted in an investment of EUR 1,380 million and 3,520 new jobs in Debrecen.
The city’s long-term goal is to make the region an increasingly strong economic, educational and cultural center, strengthening its leading position in Central and Eastern Europe.
In addition to the great success of Debrecen, Budapest reached the fourth place, while Miskolc finished in fifth place in the small cities category of the Financial Times’ fDi Magazine.
In addition to theses cities, the regions were also awarded. Among medium-sized European regions, the Northern Great Plain region ranks 3rd in the cost-effectiveness category after a region in Bosnia and a region in Romania.