Research Handbooks on Globalisation and the Law series
Edited by Sabino Cassese
Chapter 17: Europe and global law
The second half of the 1900s witnessed a relentless growth of international public powers and regional public organizations. The list of these powers and organizations is long and includes among others, the Arab League (founded in 1945); the Organization of American States (OAS – 1948); the European Economic Community, which eventually evolved into the European Union (EU – 1957); the Andean Community (1960); the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN – 1967); the Caribbean Community (CARICOM – 1973); the Organization of African Unity, the African Union (1963); the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC – 1985); the Arab Maghreb Union (1989); Mercosur (1991); and NAFTA (1994). Although all of these entities originated as economic organizations, they developed along different paths: some have rather basic structures, while others have very complex structures with several branches. In his volume on globalization and the State, Jean-Bernard Auby discusses the problem of the relationship between the development of these organizations (he discusses ‘intégrations régionales’) and ‘le mouvement de globalisation’ and comes to the conclusion that, when it comes to globalization, the processes of regional integration send a mixed message: on the one hand, ‘they are necessary to convey the various openings required and demanded by globalization’; on the other, ‘they are needed to build safety zones for some markets and certain legal, economic and cultural particularisms’. Other authors with a similar perspective have expanded upon this view of the links between regionalization and globalization.
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