The European Union (EU) has long viewed the enlargement process as an extraordinary opportunity to promote political stability and economic prosperity in Europe. U.S. Administrations and many Members of Congress have long backed EU enlargement, believing that it serves U.S. interests by advancing democracy and economic prosperity throughout the European continent. Some U.S. officials are concerned that "enlargement fatigue" as well as the EU's ongoing financial crisis could hinder EU expansion. The status of EU enlargement and its implications for both the EU itself and U.S.-EU relations may be of interest to the second session of the 112th Congress.
This report provides an overview of the causes, challenges, political dynamics, and other aspects of the Eurozone's economic crisis and discusses the related issues that Congress may address, such as: how this situation will impact the U.S. economy, IMF (International Monetary Fund) involvement, and how the US and Europe will cooperate to solve these issues. The report also contains supplemental figures and charts.
The Eurozone's economic crisis threatens economic stability in Europe and beyond. Four specific economic challenges faced are high debt levels and public deficits, weaknesses in the European banking system, recession and high unemployment in some Eurozone countries, and persistent trade imbalances. Three issues for Congress regarding these challenges are how this situation will impact the US economy, IMG involvement, and how the US and Europe will cooperate to solve these issues.
Seventeen of the European Union's 27 member states share an economic and monetary union (EMU) with the euro as a single currency. These countries are effectively referred to as the Eurozone. What has become known as the Eurozone crisis began in early 2010 when financial markets were shaken by heightened concerns that the fiscal positions of a number of Eurozone countries, beginning with Greece, were unsustainable. This report provides background information and analysis on the future of the Eurozone in six parts, including discussions on the origins and design challenges of the Eurozone, proposals to define the Eurozone crisis, possible scenarios for the future of the Eurozone, and the implications of the Eurozone crisis for U.S. economic and political interests.
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