The European Union has few instruments of hard power, such as the military. This does not mean that it is powerless: No one else is able to set international rules and standards like the EU, not even the two great powers, the United States and China. What the European Parliament and member states decide for the European Single Market often shapes business practices and laws in other parts of the world. This “Brussels Effect”, says US researcher Anu Bradford, works from data protection rules to chemical regulations for toys.
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