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The Brussels Effect

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Book cover for "The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World" by Anu Brandford. There are blue silhouettes of the seven continents coverd in yellow stars.

​The Brussels Effect challenges the prevalent view that the European Union is a declining world power. It argues that notwithstanding its many obvious challenges, the EU remains an influential superpower that shapes the world in its image through a phenomenon called the "Brussels Effect." 

The Brussels Effect refers to the EU's unilateral power to regulate global markets. Without the need to resort to international institutions or seek other nations' cooperation, the EU has the unique ability among nations today to promulgate regulations that shape the global business environment, elevating standards worldwide and leading to a notable Europeanization of many important aspects of global commerce. Different from many other forms of global influence, the Brussels Effect entails that the EU does not need to impose its standards coercively on anyone—market forces alone are often sufficient to convert the EU standard into the global standard as multinational companies voluntarily extend the EU rule to govern their global operations.

In this way, the EU wields significant, unique, and highly penetrating power to unilaterally transform global markets, including through its ability to set the standards in diverse areas such as antitrust regulation, data protection, online hatespeech, consumer health and safety, or environmental protection.

This lecture is presented in collaboration with the Institute for Global Studies and is part of the Spring Fulbright Lecture Series.

March 10, 2020 | 104 Gore Hall | 5PM—6:30PM | Free Admission

Anu Bradford

Headshot of Anu Bradford - a smiling caucasian woman with medium length blond hair wearing a purple blouse.

Anu Bradford is Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization at Columbia Law School. She is also a director for the European Legal Studies Center. Her research and teaching focus on European Union law, international trade law, and comparative and international antitrust law. Before joining the Law School faculty in 2012, she was an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School. 

Bradford earned her S.J.D. degree in 2007 and LL.M. degree in 2002 from Harvard Law School, and also holds a law degree from the University of Helsinki. After completing her LL.M. studies as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School, Bradford practiced antitrust law and EU law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Brussels for two years before returning to Harvard for her doctoral studies. She has also served as an adviser on economic policy in the Parliament of Finland and as an expert assistant to a member of the European Parliament. Bradford's new book "The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World" will be published in 2020 by Oxford University Press. 

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