International trade within European nations has benefited greatly from the establishment of the European Union. The development of the EU has rarely been consistent and often been contentious, but the result is a market area that is now the single largest in the world. In global trade, the EU is the world’s biggest exporter of manufactured goods and services, as well as the largest importer for more than 100 countries. The borders may still exist between the 28 nations that comprise the EU, but the union has made it much easier for goods, services and capital to move freely between consumers and investors. Free trade was, in fact, among the EU’s founding principles. What began with six countries in the 1950s, as a new organization formed from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, has evolved and expanded over subsequent decades through the addition of new member states and institutions. The EU was formally established under its current name in 1993, and in 2002 the Euro was established (amidst some controversy and member discontent) as the union’s primary legal tender. The EU also has its own parliament, central bank and court of justice. The Prominence of EU Trade EU trade is conducted under the rules established by the World Trade Organization. According to European Commission statistics, more than 16 percent of the world’s imports and exports are traded within the European Union. Free trade agreements have expanded the union’s worldwide network, generating additional growth, jobs and markets. Serving some 500 million consumers, the EU is the largest economy and the largest trading block in the world, and is likely to remain so through its open markets, secure legal investment framework, and low import tariffs.
‘No Deal’ Outcome Would Have Been ‘Disaster’ For Companies and Consumers
Amid waves of negative news reports that Brexit talks were headed for a hard “no deal”, the European Commission made a significant announcement last week. The commission now recommends to the European Council that “sufficient progress” has been achieved in the first phase of talks to negotiate the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the… Read More
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