Source: Bruegel based on IMF data (Direction of Trade Statistics database).
Note: The above figure shows intra-EU and intra-Eurozone shares of export on total export of the two groups respectively. Each of the two lines were constructed taking into account the changing composition of the European Union and the Euro Area over time, meaning that a given country is included in the series only by the time it joined the EU or the Euro. However, further calculations shows results do not change dramatically if considering a fixed group of countries in either series.
The share of the intra-EU export of the EU total export experienced a steady rise since the early 80’. In fact, the rise was up to 8 percentage points in that period. However, after stagnating from the mid-90’s until the end of the 2000’s, intra-EU saw a sharp downward trajectory in the last four years, implying global trading partners have become and are becoming more important. Interestingly, the data also show that the Euro Area has been following nearly the exact same pattern as the European Union as a whole, suggesting the common currency might not have had the expected effect on trade between Euro Area members.