"The EU has been built through a series of binding treaties, and over the years, EU member states have sought to harmonize laws and adopt common policies on an increasing number of economic, social, and political issues. EU member states share a customs union; a single market in which goods, people, and capital move freely; a common trade policy; and a common agricultural policy. Nineteen EU member states use a common currency (the euro). […] The United States has strongly supported the European integration project since its inception as a means to foster democratic states and strong trading partners in Europe. The United States and the EU have a dynamic political partnership and share a huge trade and investment relationship. To expand and strengthen the transatlantic economy even further, the United States and the EU are pursuing a comprehensive free trade agreement, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). At the same time, some long-standing U.S.-EU trade disputes remain, as do tensions on issues such as climate change and data protection. Many U.S. officials, including some Members of Congress, are also concerned that the multiple challenges currently facing the EU--from the Greek debt crisis and the upcoming UK referendum on EU membership to migration and the rise of anti-EU populist political parties--may have significant implications for the EU's future and its ability to be a robust and effective U.S. partner in the years ahead. This report serves as a primer on the EU and provides a brief description of U.S.-EU relations that may be of interest in the 114th Congress."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21372
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html