Free Trade in the Americas

Free Trade in the Americas

Economic and Political Issues for Governments and Firms

New Horizons in International Business series

Edited by Sidney Weintraub, Alan M. Rugman and Gavin Boyd

This book examines the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), an ambitious venture in regional market integration which builds on the principles of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It assesses the long-term corporate and public policy measures to cope with the increased monetary, fiscal and structural interdependence that will be required if the benefits of the FTAA are to be realized.

Chapter 7: The European experience of economic integration

Paul Brenton and Miriam Manchin

Subjects: business and management, international business, economics and finance, international economics


Paul Brenton and Miriam Manchin It is now more than 50 years since countries in Europe embarked upon the road of fundamental economic integration. The European experience has subsequently been characterized by the deepening and widening of the policy mix applied at the European level, together with successive enlargements. At the end of the first quarter of 2002 12 EU countries removed their national currencies and fully adopted a common currency, the euro. Every day over 300 million Europeans now have a physical representation of the extent of European economic integration in their pockets and purses. Judged in terms of its longevity and the increasing depth of cross-country relationships, the European integration project has been a success and one which, together with increasing exploration of regional in conjunction with multilateral trade liberalization, has stimulated countries throughout the world to confront the possibilities for regional integration within their locality. Despite the overall success of the project, however, there are aspects of the integration exercise in Europe that, with the benefit of hindsight, have not been economically beneficial. These too should provide some important pointers to new integration schemes. It is in this context that this chapter provides a brief overview of the historical origins of the European integration process, the initial impacts of this process and some of the lessons that might be drawn from the European experience. Clearly, closer economic relations in Europe arose from a precise set of historical circumstances that will never be repeated, nevertheless, it is clear...

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