Business Briefs

This series of Business Briefs provides concise information about the European Union (EU) for small businesses, including those located in the southeastern United States.

These documents examine the EU and the trading relationship between the US and the EU. One cluster of papers provides an overview of EU political and institutional factors relevant to doing business there; other clusters examine the EU as a trading partner, security issues, economic and market considerations and considerations such as corporate governance, tax policy, and intellectual property regulations.

2014 Briefs

Europe Through A Domestic Lens

  1. The EU and the Crisis in Ukraine

EU Enlargement

  1. The EU and Turkey

2013 Briefs

EU Foreign Affairs, Security and Transatlantic Relations

  1. The EU, China and Development Cooperation in Africa
  2. The US-EU Trade and Investment Pact
  3. The EU, Transnational Crime, and Illegal Immigration
  4. European Energy and Environmental Policy - New Technologies, New Challenges, New Partnerships

European Financial Crisis

  1. The Politicization of the European Central Bank
  2. Europe's Progress Towards Banking Union
  3. Lessons from Cyprus
  4. The Politics of Austerity

Recent Domestic and Economic Focus on Europe

  1. The Italian Political Crisis
  2. EU-Canadian Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement Negotiations

2012 Briefs

EU Foreign Affairs

  1. EU/NATO Defense Capabilities
  2. China: Europe's White Knight or Economic Black Swan?
  3. The New Germany: Abandoning Europe?
  4. The EU and Iran
  5. The EU and the Arab Spring
  6. The Impact of the 2012 US Election on the Transatlantic Relationship

European Financial Crisis

  1. EU Development Policy
  2. Contagion and the European Financial Crisis
  3. Eurobonds
  4. Macroeconomic Policy Coordination in the EU
  5. The Politics of an EU Financial Transaction Tax

Recent Focus on Europe

  1. The State of Right-Wing Extremism in Europe

2011 Briefs

Recent Focus on Europe

  1. The British Coalition Government

International Issues

  1. Focus on Afghanistan
  2. Libya: A European War?
  3. Somalia: Piracy, Failed State Status, and the Impact on Global Trade

2010 Briefs

Europe Under the Lisbon Treaty

  1. The European Union After Lisbon
  2. The Barroso II Commission
  3. The New European Parliament
  4. The EU's High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy
  5. The First President of the European Council

European Financial Crisis

  1. The "Greek" Crisis: Origins (Part 1)
  2. The "Greek" Crisis: Implications (Part 2)

International Issues

  1. Focus on Russia

2009 Briefs

Transatlantic Relations

  1. The New Transatlantic Relationship
  2. International Currency Competition: Euro vs. US Dollar
  3. Transatlantic Defense Procurement
  4. NATO After the Russian Invasion (The New Balance of Power in NATO)
  5. Transatlantic Investment: Towards a Transatlantic Marketplace?

International Issues

  1. Rising China: EU Perspectives and Responses
  2. European Responses to the Global Economic Crisis
  3. Life Sciences and Biotechnology: The Transatlantic Divide
  4. Climate Change: Towards a New Transatlantic Consensus?
  5. NATO's Afghan Quagmire (Afghanistan and the War on Terror)

2008 Briefs

Doing Business in Europe

  1. The Single Market (and voluntary industrial standards)
  2. Corporate Governance (the development of an EU company statute)
  3. Corporate Taxation (moves toward harmonization)
  4. Financial Services (efforts to implement the financial services directive)
  5. Intellectual Property Rights (efforts to establish an EU patent)

Economic and Market Considerations

  1. Money and Exchange Rates (inside and outside the Euro)
  2. Monetary and Fiscal Policy (the ECB and the stability and growth pact)
  3. Unemployment and Welfare State Reform: The Lisbon Agenda
  4. Wage Bargaining and Worker Representation

Europe as a Trading Partner

  1. The External Face of Europe (how the EU and member states represent trade)
  2. Agriculture
  3. Textiles
  4. Steel and Heavy Industry
  5. Information and Communications Technology

Political and Institutional Factors

  1. European Neighborhood Policy (Euro-Med, Immigration)
  2. EU Constitutional Issues


  1. Security - Internal and External

2007 Briefs

Europe as a Trading Partner

  1. The EU-US Dispute Over Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  2. The Demise of Doha: The End of the Multilateral Trading System?
  3. EU Development Policy

Macroeconomic and Market Considerations

  1. The Rise of the BRICs: Implications for Transatlantic Relations (Brazil, Russia, India, China)
  2. Europe's Rising Financial Power
  3. The EU and the Global Convergence in Accounting Standards

Political and Institutional Factors

  1. The Kyoto Protocol and Global Climate Change


  1. European Military Capabilities
  2. European Integration and Civil-Military Relations
  3. EU-NATO Relations

2006 Briefs

Note: Many briefs created in 2006 have been updated and reside under the 2007 or 2008 headings above.

Transatlantic Relations

  1. North Carolina and the European Union: A Transatlantic Relationship

Macroeconomic and Market Considerations

  1. Education & Labor Mobility (Bologna Process, degree recognition)

Political and Institutional Factors

  1. Decision making and Legislation (Council, Commission, Parliament, Member States )
  2. Rule Enforcement & Dispute Resolution (Commission and ECJ)
  3. Europe as a Political Entity (Federalism, Subsidiarity, Democracy)