EU Issues & Cyprus Acession

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European Law and its impact on Cyprus due to Accession.

A Brief Survey of the European Union

With a population that is 37% of the US population and a gross domestic product that is 85% of the US GDP, the European Union (EU) offers exciting possibilities to hosiery companies looking outside US borders for new markets.

The EU consists of 15 members and has a population of about 375 million, concentrated largely in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and France. The Gross Domestic Product of the EU in 2000 was approximately $7.8 trillion, with Germany having the largest economy in the EU at 23% of the EU's GDP.

There are developments on the forefront that could benefit American companies looking to trade with the EU: deregulation in several product sectors, the start of negotiations on the eventual enlargement of the EU with 12 candidate countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), and the introduction of the euro. Further advancement of the single market and single currency should facilitate increased trade.

Companies considering exporting to the EU should be aware of many laws that will effect distribution and sales agreements. The EU has a variety of laws in place regarding sales agreements, most of which protect the foreign intermediary. It is suggested that, due to the complexity of these laws, a company utilize legal counsel in the development of these sales agreements.

Additionally, companies interested in the EU should be aware of the business facilitating activities of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). The TABD is a forum for US and European businesses to provide voluntary input into the US government and the European Commission regarding impediments to transatlantic business.

The relations of Cyprus with the European economic community, and subsequently with the European union, have evolved

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