"Seventeen of the European Union's 27 member states share an economic and monetary union (EMU) with the euro as a single currency. Based on a gross domestic product (GDP) and global trade and investment shares comparable to those of the United States, these countries (collectively referred to as the Eurozone) are a major player in the world economy and can affect U.S. economic and political interests in significant ways. Given its economic and political heft, the evolution and future direction of the Eurozone is of major interest to Congress, particularly committees with oversight responsibilities for U.S. international economic and foreign policies. [...] If the Eurozone survives largely in its current form or strengthens, the impact on U.S. interests is likely to be minimal. However, if Greece or any other Eurozone member were to default on its debt, it could lead to another wave of credit freeze-ups and instability in the European banking sector that weakens a slow growing U.S. economy. Longer term, if the Eurozone were to break up in a way that undermines the functioning of Europe's single market, or resurrects national divisions, the impact on U.S. economic and political interests could be deeper and more damaging."
CRS Report for Congress, R41411