Europe as a Global Player
Europe (and in particular the European Union) is a regional economic area and thus an embedded feature of globalisation. Since the Lisbon Treaty entered into effect on 1 December 2009, the EU has grown from a "political midget" to a notable political "global player". Although Europe has gradually lost its top position in global trade it continues to be a "world trade superpower". Since its introduction in 2002, the euro has become the world's second most important reserve currency. With the WTO's Doha Round still stuck, the EU runs a large network of bilateral free trade agreements ("spaghetti bowl"), and is pursuing several strategies to ward off the dangers of globalisation: For one, its constant enlargement makes for an ever larger internal market, which implicitly raises borders against third countries. This immunisation effect is further strengthened by the enlargement of the euro area. Secondly, the EU's competition and anti-dumping policy efficiently ensures fair competition within the EU's internal market. The losers in the globalisation process are helped by the globalisation fund set up by the EU.
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